Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Week 4: Quilter #4 Nicholas AKA Quilts From The Attic

Quilter #4

Name: Nicholas, though Nick will do just fine.  I tend to use Nicholas when I want to sound impressive!

Location: Cardiff, Wales

I promise I won't be offended if you're not quiet sure where that is.  I've lost count of the number of people outside of the United Kingdom who have responded with "Oh, England, right?" when I tell them I'm from Wales.  Whilst the two countries are next to each other, they are different.  If you have difficulty distinguishing the two, just remember we're the ones with a dragon on our flag.  Yes, a dragon!  

Who am I and what I do:  Well, how long have you got?  In a nutshell I'm an almost-thirty-going-on-ten fabric addict with a penchant for books, dinosaurs, cephalopods and the idea of a zombie apocalypse.  I really am a big kid at heart and am constantly being told to grow up and stop collecting comics.  When I'm not quilting, I work for a large department store.  I'd be lying if I said I love my job, but the money isn't that bad and the 25% discount comes in handy when the new Tula Pink collections find their way onto the shelves! 

I share my house with my long-suffering partner Barri and this year we'll be celebrating both our thirtieth birthdays and our ten year anniversary. Champagne for everyone! We have a overly-spoilt pug named Samuel who often allows us to indulge our love of jogging pants-and-movie days.

Why I quilt: Because, quite frankly, if I didn't, I'd kill somebody!  Creativity is at my core and builds up like lava.  I've tried my hand at many things.  I graduated from art school with a degree in photography, painted for many years and use to love making miniature models.  My grandmother taught me to knit and hand sew when I was younger, but I'd always been fascinated with the idea of making a patchwork quilt.  It was an idea that just wouldn't go away.  Fast forward two and a bit years and the hobby is all consuming, so much so in fact, I'm beginning to believe my brain is made up of patchwork pieces!   

Favourite quilts I've made: People are probably getting fed up of hearing me say this but I really think I've found my style as a quilter.  I started off without much of an idea about what I was doing or where the journey would take me.  I tried this, I tried that, and not all output was successful.  Then I made my Veg Patch Quilt and everything changed.  I love improv.  I love modern design.  I love bold fabric choices and abandoning the rule book.  I'm so excited to see what the quilts I'll be making in 2 years from now look like!

Where you can find me:

Instagram: quiltsfromtheattic
Blog: www.quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com
Facebook: Quilts From The Attic
Pinterest: quiltsfromattic

I'm so excited to be part of the 52 Quilters experience!  I'm looking forward to sharing some of the things I've learnt along the way with you all and know that I'll be learning stuff too.  Thanks for reading!

Post by Nicholas - Week #4:  Nicholas is a quilter based in Cardiff, Wales. He runs a blog called Quilts from the Attic from which he shares his modern male-made quilts. Follow him on instagram @quiltsfromtheattic or visit him at https://quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com

Monday, January 26, 2015

Check in from Chris

Hey quilters! Just a quick note from Chris (Yes, I'll be checking in on the blog throughout the year to give you some behind the scenes updates... and no, this sadly is not an update calling for more quilters - although that will come soon enough!).

I just got home from what was a long Monday at work, and was so excited to see that 52 Quilters has hit the big 1000 on instagram! Woop!

This week we are on to our fourth quilter and in the coming weeks you might find the '52 popping up on podcasts, in magazines and in a few other places around the internet.

I just wanted to do a quick post to say thank you and share that I really appreciate everyone commenting, sharing and engaging with the project... I've also had lots of great emails with wonderful ideas for the project, so please don't be shy and keep sharing your thoughts with me. I might not be able to respond to everyone right away, but I'll do it as soon as I possibly can.

In case I haven't said it enough, this is a project that is as much about the followers and readers as it is about the featured quilters - so thank you for helping me make this little idea of mine a reality!

More to come soon.

Post by Chris: Chris is the founder and organiser of 52Quilters. He is a crafty guy who has been making his whole life. Although his crafty roots are in Canada, he has been working and crafting in the UK for nearly 10 years. For more of Chris' work visit http://lazycrafternoons.blogspot.com 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week 2 - Wrapping Up with Sari (@sariditty)

Y'all.  Seriously.
You have each impacted my week in so many ways, and for that I am beyond thankful.  I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into by agreeing to submit as a 52 Quilter, but to go "first" after its creator.....I won't lie...I was shaking in my moccasins last week about this time!  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your feedback, comments, high fives, and mutual clinking of wine glasses!

This week was a whirlwind for me.  Like I mentioned in a couple IG comments, my husband is already gone to the east coast for his new job, and I've been "stranded" here with not much to do other than dive head first into my work.  It worked out well, I think, and I was able to get a lot done and show you along the way.  Looking back through my photos I shared, it's definitely evident I like happy, cheerful color in almost everything I make.  Crazy enough, my house is pretty neutral: white, beige, a hint of overcast aqua.

So here we go with a quick wrap up...

Graffiti Quilting
I was given the opportunity to graffiti quilt this amazing chevron quilt by my friend, Val (@valroberts91).  In case you couldn't already tell...I love graffiti quilting!  Definitely stay in touch with my IG feed for a super fun graffiti/Kona-based swap in the next few months!  Ms. Karlee Porter and I are collaborating up something exciting!
Pieced & Owned by Valerie Roberts
Minky Backing...oooo la la! 

If anyone is interested in having your quilt graffiti'd by me, please don't hesitate to reach me for a quote.  And if you mention "52 Quilters" in your quote estimate, you'll get 10% off!  Woot woot!! As mentioned previously, a personal web site is up and coming so stick to email for now: twentyeightfourteen@gmail.com

Final Project This Week:
Another Dave Ramsey Cash Wallet System!  My girlfriend saw the first one I made and asked for hers to be done in chevrons.  Umm...OK!  Twist my arm, eh?!  I love this one with the zippers and all the bright colors!  *If you make this design, I definitely recommend flip-flopping zipper directions to minimize bulk.

Favorite Tools:

I have so freaking many favorite things, that this was actually difficult to grab a small handful of items.

1. Auriful Thread - I just love it for piecing! Love it!!
2. Kona Cotton - Need I really explain this again?
3. Fiskars Hexagon Punch - It just makes my life soooo much simpler when my EPP bone starts to itch.  Cardstock + Punch = Genius!
4. Notebook & Sharpie Pens - I'm always randomly thinking of designs or ideas, so I keep these with me everywhere I go to jot down stuff.
5. Wonder Clips - They have saved me a lot of blood loss over the last few months!  ;o)
6. Chopsticks - Not for takeout at midnight, but they are SUPER for poking corners safely!
7. Olfa Splash Rotary Cutter - ok, ok, ok....it's just pretty.  So sue me!  But it does cut like a dream, and I really like it.
8. Washi Tape - I love how useful it is for a) hanging minis on the wall to photograph; b) marking straight lines on fabric to guide where to stitch; c) decorating clothes pins for cute office decor; d) sticking to sewing machine to follow as an edge-of-fabric guide.  The list goes on!
***I simply linked to a few ambiguous sites for those few who have no clue what the item is.  I always, always support shopping small and local if at all possible***

The FurKids:
  As you can see, Ike and Sam were highly amused at my work this week.  And I'm also using up these 10 seconds of your time to show off my smushy-faced (ugly-to-most) loves of my life.  Moving on...

Pattern & Design by Mathoholic Me - @sariditty
Name TBD
My Pattern & a Giveaway:

Screw the pattern...did she say giveaway?!  What?!

Yep, you read right!  I based this design loosely on my "Kona Summer Jewels" quilt and made up three minis this week.  One is a 24" going to my Rainbow Mini Swap partner.  (Go, Team Purple!!)  And the other two are 18" - one for YOU and one for me!  I've decided to hold a giveaway for this beauty pictured in the next couple weeks or so.  You'll want to be following me (@sariditty) on Instagram to know when it is!  You'll also have to weigh in...do you want it graffiti quilted or classicly quilted?

By the way...since no one else is here to pat me on the back, I'll do it myself... Did you see those points?!  Winner!  ;o)

Final Thoughts:

As I said, you each have made a lovely impact on my week, and I am so very thankful for that.  I'm looking forward to the next 50 contributing quilters and getting glimpses into their lives and work as well.
This year has a LOT in store for me, so be on the lookout for some excitement coming from my way. Hubby is observing the house inspection this week on our potential buy.  Did I mention it's a bank owned property that's been vacant for nearly a year?  Yeah.....that'll be a lot of home reno and DIY!  I.am.pumped!!! (And a little scared.)
I have two patterns debuting this year: the mini pictured above (as well as a quilt size version) AND the most amazing bag ever in the history of mankind!  Ok, maybe not that fabulous, but it is pretty darn spiffy, and I have a feeling you'll really like it!
Now on to the next quilter to keep the torch burning bright!  And also time for me to pour a glass of wine and get ready for Downton Abbey!

Me & the Hubs with Lincoln, Eisenhower & Sam
From me and my family, thanks for tagging along this week!  Keep in touch with me too!
IG - @sariditty
email - twentyeightfourteen@gmail.com
FB - www.facebook.com/designsbysari 

xoxo... Sari
Post by Sari - Week #2:  Sari is a quilter based in Altus Oklahoma (but soon to be on the move!). She runs a studio called Twenty Eight Fourteen from which she shares her unique style and wonderful love for color! Follow Sari on instagram @sariditty or visit her at https://www.facebook.com/designsbysari

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week #2: Quilter #2 SARI a.k.a. sariditty

Quilter #2

Name: Sari
Well, technically it's Sarah..... but I've always been partial to my near and dear calling me Sari (pronounced SARE-ee not SORR-eye).  I was one of the lucky Sarahs/Saras to grow up with about 2 dozen others of the same name.  Borrrrringggggg.  No wonder I never liked the book Sarah, Plain and Tall.
This is me with my first love, Lincoln.
He's an OTTB (yeah you know me!)  <-- Naughty By Nature....anyone?!

Location: Altus, Oklahoma  <she says with a hushed tone so as not to let anyone hear her>
What's that?  You've never heard of Altus?  Yeah....neither had I.  And unless you or your spouse are one of the lucky exiled few to earn an assignment at this Air Force base, then you'll never hear of this town.  Don't bother looking it up on a map either.  There's nothing there except red dirt, tumbleweeds bigger than a VW Bug, and wives' tears.

*Maybe now is a perfect time to let you all know I have a very sarcastic nature to myself.  Nothing is ever off limits with me and my jokes.  And please don't take anything I say too seriously - I truly live life one day at a time...find as much joy as possible from each situation...and drink as much coffee and wine to combat the negative.*

Who I Am & What I Do: Well, now isn't this a loaded question?! I started out as a commercial pilot flying for an engineering firm in the MidWest.  Gave that a go for a couple years and realized that living on a pager that went off at any time of day or night was not ideal or my cuppa.  So back to school I went to turn my ability to speak Spanish into a secondary education teaching certificate AND also became a certified personal trainer/running coach.  Enter L-O-V-E...... yup.

I got married to my long, long time friend from college (Boiler Up!!) who happened to be an Air Force dude based down in Charleston, SC.  Bye bye, Indiana....Hello, sunny Charleston!  So I spent nearly 2 years there, and then we got orders to move to this "lovely" town.  I've been here 1 year, 9 months, 18 days....and cannot wait to break free!  And in the next 30-60 days we are moving - hubby has a new assignment (God bless 'Murica!!) over on the WV/MD border area!  Yay for trees!  And history!  And rolling hills!  And grass!  And CostCo and Trader Joe's and  Starbucks.... (you get the picture.)

And I do find the positives to situations, like I said.  Thanks to living through this assignment, I found my artsy side to this otherwise majorly Type A persona and channeled some deep-seeded artistic talents, which have become my quilting and sewing life.  Without that, I would be an institutionalized alcoholic.  (Joking!!  Please remember I am never totally serious!)

Why I Quilt: To maintain a sense a of self worth and sanity to be perfectly honest.  Plus I love math.  Like....lovvvvvve math! (I was the nerd who voluntarily did extra calculus homework in high school.)  I love nothing more than a fresh stack of brightly colored fabric, a sheet of graph paper, pencil, and my ideas to design, what I consider, gorgeous textile artwork!  My Gramma was an artist in many forms, and we lost her 14 years ago.  I truly feel closer to her with every stitch I make, and I somehow believe she's watching me from above and proud of me.  (Now I'm crying.  Ugh.)

What Fuels Me: Coffee. Wine. Chocolate. Sex. Pizza.   WHAT?!  Crap...my parents are probably reading this too.  Honestly though, I have a huge desire to prove something to myself mostly.  I gave up my career as a pilot and have felt like a shadow to this military lifestyle for a while now.  Having this quilty outlet as something I've found myself reasonably good at gives me a deep desire to produce quality results.  Each project is a goal to be better than before.  And thankfully, that's all I need for now.  And when I need a break from that, I have my sweet boxer boys, running (when the Oklahoma winds don't blow me over), FaceTime with my nieces and nephews, and amazing girlfriends.

Favorite Quilt(s) I've Made:  Ok, so I made a ridiculously simple shaggy squares quilt back in college 10+ years ago.  But as of this past summer, I've decided to quilt again.  I happily made a few birthday quilts for nieces/nephews and was quite pleased.  Then I went to a quilt show in Albuquerque with my mom (@cnytz51...look her up...she's amazing!  And if you're her Schnitzel & Boo recipient, then consider yourself lucky because I tried to steal your mini!) and was hypnotized by that dang HandiQuilter rep.  Crap.  $$$$ later I had an HQ18 delivered and set up mid-September.  So I got an itch to be awesome.  Not just adequate, but awesome.  Because, you know....go big or go home, eh?  I went with my patriotic side and made a 5x7 lap quilt of the United States using my lovely, lovely Kona Cotton in 50 shades.  I dove (dived?) in with FMQ and quilted each state differently.  I can't even begin to describe how proud I am of this first attempt of FMQ and the end result! More photos and closeups are on my InstaGram feed (@sariditty), and you can search the hashtag #unitedstatesofamerikona too.
"United States of AmeriKona"
*not sponsored by Robert Kaufman or Kona affiliates*
So then I kept going with my love of bright & happy colors and wanted to design something using the  32 new Kona Cotton colors.  I came up with a mish mash of triangles and squares then plopped that beauty on my HandiQuilter (his name is Herbie, by the way) and went to town with some silver metallic graffiti FMQ.  As we drove 6.5hrs to my parents' home for Christmas, I worked on finishing the binding.  Perfect timing!  And Oh.My.Word.  I LOVE IT!!  For me it was a sincere and major accomplishment proving I've found my niche and know I want to offer graffiti FMQ as a service for others.
"Kona Summer Jewels"
*not sponsored by Robert Kaufman or Kona affiliates*

Where You Can Find Me:

InstaGram @sariditty

Facebook www.facebook.com/designsbysari  (Oh yeah...I also paint and make custom signage and doo-dahs.  Check it out!)

Blog.....someone help me!  I've never blogged in my life, and I think I kinda want to!  And I definitely need a personal website where I can offer quilting services and items I've made.  Anyone got any suggestions?

And with that, I happily and enthusiastically ask for your feedback to make this week and my contributions what you want to see and hear!  I'm transparent to a fault, so please feel free to direct me in any way you want!  Thanks for sitting through this long-winded post!  

xo Sari

Post by Sari - Week #2:  Sari is a quilter based in Altus Oklahoma (but soon to be on the move!). She runs a studio called Twenty Eight Fourteen from which she shares her unique style and wonderful love for color! Follow Sari on instagram @sariditty or visit her at https://www.facebook.com/designsbysari

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Week #1 - Round Up: Focus

It's been a great first week on the 52 Quilters blog, and I'm sad but excited to pass the baton on to the next quilter. Starting tomorrow you'll meet quilter #2 on the blog, instagram and twitter but while I've still got control of the accounts I'm going to do a quick round up of the first week and my thoughts on the project so far!

52 Quilters has been a nice way for me to start out the new year: kicking off the project has given me a good incentive to get making and meet some new people (virtually and in real life!), as well as giving me some food for thought on what I make and how I work.

Like a lot of people, I find January a tough month: in London it's cold and grey, and for me it's always that little bit greyer if I've been home at Christmas because my return to the UK reminds me of the distance between me and my roots in Canada.  Seeing friends and family over the holidays is both reviving and exhausting, and as a result the return to 'normal' in January always feels a bit dull. Posting on 52 Quilters and engaging with so many people has helped me see the year of possibilities beyond cold, grey January and having so many comments and likes on my posting the minutiae of my life has helped me appreciate what I have.

Connecting with so many people through the '52 has helped the distance I sometimes sense in January feel a little less far, and for that I'm really thankful.

So what quilty things did I do this week? Well I bought materials for and finished a baby quilt.  Using the fabrics I bought from Liberty and Oakshott, I made a simple and smart little quilt:

Closer up (above) and with view of the backing/binding (below)

I also completed my 8-inch square piece for the 52 Quilters quilt. I sketched out some paper-pieced numbers and letters this morning and created the first block of 52 that will go into the quilt. Because I knew it would not take up too much of my stash, I used the indelible collection fabrics I bought last week in Toronto as a way to mark my week in the '52 and start to play with the fabrics.

Lastly, I learned a few things about keeping focus. I've recently taken part in my first online mini-quilt swaps and this week have been working on a fairly small scale: planning my #rainbowminiswap project, creating my patch for the '52 quilt and making a baby quilt. Although I'm often planning grand projects and rushing myself through to gain satisfaction from the finished product, I'm learning that there is a lot to be said for taking small, measured steps and working in focus.

Seeing posts from people doing the New Hexagon quilt along and the progress of people attempting quilts from Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein through social media has really inspired me. I'm so impressed by the patience and focus people have to work in such detail, hand-sewing one small piece at a time. I don't really do new year's resolutions, but as a result of this week, I want to make 'focus' my word of the year for 2015.

In 2014, my year was defined the word 'resilience': I learned to have confidence in my own and I learned to accept that there were certain things I couldn't control or change.  I think I have learned that instead of fighting or worrying about things I can't fix, I can instead support myself by doing things which feed my own resilience.

This year I want to remember to have focus: focus in the work I do, focus on my goals and focus in those moments that seem like minutiae: not just taking a photo and posting it to social media, but really taking the time to value what I have.

Thank you for all your likes, comments, tweets and other bits of support this week... and for helping me find my focus.  I'm so grateful that this project is taking off, and I'm so excited to see where things go.

As a way of finishing my week, I'd love to know what words or ideas will inspire you this year or what things help you cope with the January blues greys. Please comment and share below.

- C

p.s. If you've liked following me this week, you can find me on social media and follow my blog here. I'll definitely post, comment and check in here a few times throughout the year, but I'm pleased to now be stepping out of the spotlight and passing on the blog to the next quilter.

Post by Chris: Chris is the founder and organiser of 52Quilters. He is a crafty guy who has been making his whole life. Although his crafty roots are in Canada, he has been working and crafting in the UK for nearly 10 years. For more of Chris' work visit http://lazycrafternoons.blogspot.com 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Savoy and Soak: An unexpectedly luxe week

What a week: 52Quilters is continuing to grow and I've only got a few days to finish off my guest-posting before I pass the baton to the next quilter.

Now that the Monday to Friday work week is over and I'm starting to unwind I've decided to spend my Friday evening in, ironing out a few stacks of fat quarters that I'll be working with this week. Are you jealous of my glamorous rockstar life?

... speaking of which, please let me acknowledge that I do see the irony in the fact that this project, which is supposed to be "quilting: warts and all" has resulted in posts from both Liberty of London and The Savoy - two places where I am definitely NOT a regular! So please let me give some context:

Last weekend I ventured out to Liberty's and for the first time made some fabric purchases. I love to go to Liberty and drool over the beautiful and curious things there: I've never bought fabric before, but I'm working on a little baby quilt and knew that I could stretch the budget to buy some of their tana lawn for a small project.

So in honour of 52Quilters being a 'special occasion I had a little splurge and bought some fabrics at Liberty. I also had the idea to buy a diary in their gorgeous stationery section, but I overspent slightly on fabric and decided to call it day. It was nice to treat myself, but I had to limit my indulgence and keep my conscience clean!

I'll share a bit more about what I bought at Liberty tomorrow when I share the progress on the quilt I'm working on.

Now as for The Savoy: When I started this week, I never expected I'd find myself at a lingerie trade show at The Savoy on Friday morning, but this morning that's exactly where I was!  After buying my first bottle of Flatter by Soak in Toronto, I started following Jacqueline Sava from Soak on instagram and twitter and yesterday noticed a tweet that said she was hosting a trade stall in London.

To cut a long story short, we connected over twitter and she invited me down to meet her and check out the show... so at 9:00 am this morning I found myself here:

Jacqueline was a treat to meet: she is very passionate about Soak and all things craft. We talked quilts, trade shows, making it as a maker, maker training and of course 52Quilters. It was a wonderful and serendipitous treat to meet a fellow Torontonian on this side of the Atlantic during my week on the '52.

After our chat I headed to work, but all day I was keen to get home, change into comfy clothes and break out the iron! I decided to start with my Flatter and iron out some fat quarters I'll be using to make my 52 Quilters patchwork piece.

I love the Yuzu fragrance and found it was a treat to iron with it.  The spray helped me iron out those frustratingly fixed fat quarter creases and gave the fabric a fresh crispness. After trying it out on my fat quarters, I decided to try it out on the squares I've cut from my Liberty fabrics.

I'll be pairing the squares I've cut above with a heavier Charcoal fabric from Oakshott (pictured next to them), so spraying and pressing with the Flatter helped make these very light cottons a bit stiffer which I think will help with when it comes to sewing them tomorrow.

All in all today was a real treat.  After meeting Jacqueline, I'm completely enamoured with Soak stuff.  I'll admit, Flatter is not a true necessity, but I'm a very sensory/tactile person and there is something to be said for a product that can make ironing enjoyable on a Friday night. Yes, it is a luxury, but its a small one and in contrast to Liberty and the Savoy it's a luxury that is within my budget!

Jacqueline and Chris (and Soak)
Full disclosure: No one from soak prompted me to write this, and it was honestly 100% serendipity that I connected with Jacqueline this week... but she did generously provide me with a bottle of Fig Soak to take home and I'll probably shamelessly blog on my own blog once I've had a go with it as well. Thank you team Soak!

Post by Chris: Chris is the founder and organiser of 52Quilters. He is a crafty guy who has been making his whole life. Although his crafty roots are in Canada, he has been working and crafting in the UK for nearly 10 years. For more of Chris' work visit http://lazycrafternoons.blogspot.com 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

To hoard or not to hoard: my stash rules

Well, well, well, it seems that 52Quilters is off to a good start.

After a quiet New Year's Eve with my family in Toronto, and a New Year's Day filled with chilling/eating/laughing with intermittent breaks of frantic packing (including fitting an A1 print and a 5 kilo Le Creuset casserole dish in my suitcase!), I'm back in the UK, caught up on sleep, and starting to feel back to normal.

... except, when it came to sit down at my computer and get going on this blog, I suddenly felt a bit overwhelmed. I'm so excited for 52Quilters to get going, and it's been brewing on the back-burner in my mind for so long, but suddenly I'm feeling the pressure of giving it a good start.

Yikes on bikes!

So I'll stick to what I know for now, and tell you a bit more about myself through a little shopping trip did before I left Canada.

Although I live in the UK I was born and raised in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada, and even though I only spent a day-and-a-half of 2015 there, I wanted to feature Toronto at least a little bit during my week on the 52.  So I set out on what I knew would be a slightly over-indulgent shopping trip to The Workroom on Queen St. West. In addition to being a wonderful creative hub in Parkdale, and an online shop, Karyn of workroom fame also has a great blog: http://www.makesomething.ca/

Now when it comes to buying fabric, I have to be a very careful shopper. Knowing myself and the slippery slope that lies between where I live and hoarder-ville, I made some rules for myself after completing my first quilt.  In order to preserve my bank balance and respect the storage space available to me, I told myself I would only every buy fabric for specific projects.  Never buying for "just in case" or "just because".

As you might imagine, these rules have eroded slightly over the years, but I'm still pretty good at keeping to my limits.  When I set out to make my first I-spy quilt I managed to get enough fabrics through some swaps, but the act of swapping helped me see the value of a hearty stash, so I have allowed myself some caveats:

Now my stash rule is:

1. Only buy for specific projects*

a) Reasonable purchases for future I-Spy projects (fat quarters where possible or 1/2 meter for fabrics with variable patterns/multiple I-spy objects)
b) Lights: I find it so hard to find interesting patterns that read as whites, lights, beiges, etc. so whenever I see these I allow myself to buy them.
c) Occasional treat buys for limited edition fabrics or special occasions

This may seem limited, but bear in mind that I live in a small 1-bedroom flat in London. Currently this trunk is the storage space my stash and quilting accoutrements need to be able to fit into:

And inside: (sewing machine stored separately)

So you can understand why doing some shopping at The Workroom as a part of my week on 52Quilters is a real treat: because this week falls under rule 1, exception c: special occasion.

Normally, when I go into a shop to buy for a specific project, I have my ideas all mapped out and I know exactly what I need to buy in terms of meterage.  I keep a notebook with me with my sketches and rough calculations to make sure I know how much I need to buy (including contingency/margin of error).  Sometimes I have a pattern mapped out, and find fabrics to match my ideas: sometimes I'm led by the fabrics, and buy what I need and let that define my design, but generally I tend to purchase just enough, plus a little extra in case of mistakes.

This makes it sound like I'm a perfectionist/meticulous person, but really I am not! It is more that I'm very visual so I need to see my ideas, rather than needing to know the detail. Also, I almost never remember the binding. I always, forget and have to last-minute rush out to buy binding fabric to match a quilt... this is either because the binding is a bit boring to me, or because I'm too excited about the quilt top to think about the binding when I'm shopping. It's always in afterthought for me.

So I had a nice browse at The Workroom (ooh pretty pictures)...

Lots of choice (above) as well as lots of haberdashery and sewing books (below).

... and I made some 'special occasion' purchases.

In detail: The yuzu Flatter is something I've never tried before, but will be testing it out later this week when I do some quilting, and I bought two bundles of fat quarters:

One 12-piece fat quarter stack of Hand Dyes Series 1 by Kim Schafer which I'm going to use in my Rainbow Mini Swap project...

...and a 14-piece stack of fat quarters of Indelible by Katarine Roccella. My IGMiniSwap partner used the Spirodraft print in what she made me for the swap and I just couldn't pass up the chance to buy some for myself.

So that's my big fabric indulgence (probably for this year!) - I know I'll be using the 12-piece for my rainbow swap, but I have no idea what I'll use the Indelible fabric for, but because I almost never buy fabric without a project in mind, I'll just keep it on the back burner and enjoy the luxury of knowing there are many possibilities!

I'm curious to know if you find my fabric buying regiment reasonable or horrific? I hope you might take this as a place to share your own buying habits/stash rules, please comment and don't be shy about sharing links to your own blog posts on a similar subject. I'm keen to know how other people shop for fabric.

Post by Chris: Chris is the founder and organiser of 52Quilters. He is a crafty guy who has been making his whole life. Although his crafty roots are in Canada, he has been working and crafting in the UK for nearly 10 years. For more of Chris' work visit http://lazycrafternoons.blogspot.com