Swaps

The only thing more enjoyable than creating a fabric postcard is swapping one…particularly with someone you’ve never met…whether domestically or internationally.  Often times you’re working to interpret a theme, be it a season, holiday, color, etc.   The most fun to receive though are those labeled “maker’s choice.”  There’s no telling what might land in your mailbox.  Available materials, new techniques, cultural traditions and imagination all play into the design of “maker’s choice.”

Each of these groups are initially restricted meaning you simply need to ask permission to join.  You are typically quickly added to the group giving you access to all of the files and swaps.  The next thing you will notice is that the groups are also “closed” so that only members have access to what is posted, both text and photos. This is especially nice on the Facebook sites as this information does not populate my news feed and travel into that of friends and family who might be as enthusiastic.

The following is a short list of the fabric postcard swaps I have enjoyed firsthand:

I highly recommend checking out these four fabric postcard swaps as I have been involved with each over many years time.  I have always found members to be supportive, informative, patient and kind.

So reach out and prepare to be thrilled when you receive a fabric postcard in return from Australia, Germany, UK, Ireland, etc…

Start building your collection of received fabric postcards…

Sew inspirational!

Kathy

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Behold: the 2018 Color Forecast is here!

Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year is ultra violet!  

“Officially known as PANTONE 18-3838, Ultra Violet is a color created from two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new”, according to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

My first thought was whether the upcoming Royal wedding had anything to do with the choice as the couple became engaged in October and Pantone only announced the 2018 color of the year on December 8th.  Pantone did share that purples have symbolized artistic brilliance in the past as it was used by music icons such as Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix…but no mention of the Royals.

I searched my beloved Hoffman Bali fabrics and found these…851-81-Violetdeliciously scrumptious Bali batiks but what complimentary colors would work well with ultra violet?  Yellow, being directly opposite violet on the color wheel is the perfect complimentary color.1895-81-Violet

Violet And Yellow - 1920x1080

Violets and yellows are nostalgic and have been used as the color theme for weddings a countless number of times.

I wondered if fabric companies  had been able Catalina Ultra Violet~Large Floral onWhite~Cotton Fabric~Maywood Studioto anticipate the updated color or had already designed a line that would work well with this announcement.  It turns out that Maywood Studio Fabrics has a fabric line entitled, “Catalina Ultra Violet“.  Here is the focus fabric from this line.  Click on the link to visit Maywood Studio and view other components of the fabric line.  You’ll find “yellow”-greens to compliment the violet…hmmm…wasn’t “Greenery” the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year?

Crimped Hot Fix Angelina - Ultraviolet, 1/2 oz. with instructions

One of my most favorite products to work with is Angelina Fibers.  Thankfully the fibers are already available in “ultra violet”!  When I look at them in this color I can’t help but envision a midnight sky lit by the moon…most likely because this very element is on my design wall…stay tuned!

“Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future,” Pantone said in a statement…and yet it makes me nostalgic….

Looking forward to 2018…

Kathy

 

 

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Creating Personal Touches

A Cool Dude

Have you ever been told “It’s better to give than to receive?”  I think we all have.  It was a bit of a confusing concept when I was young, but with experience in gift giving and a bit of hindsight, I’ve come to understand the meaning behind the phrase.  After all, gift giving is a universal way to show interest, appreciation and gratitude as well as to strengthen bonds with others.  And there’s no higher compliment to family or friends than receiving a homemade gift with personal touches reflecting the recipients personality, shared experiences and likes.

So many things quickly become “a thing” nowadays….and typically only last until the next “thing” comes along.  I was thinking about this as I made Holiday fabric postcards to send to my family and close friends.  There’s an emotional lift in giving a gift from the heart that makes me feel good…and nothing replaces that feeling for me.  I love watching the recipient’s face for that moment of realization when they recognize THE personal touch.  The card above will be given to my daughter-in-law with her son’s photo in the snow globe.  It was taken the day he learned he would be having a baby sister soon….his shirt depicts a construction vehicle and reads “Can you dig it?  I’m going to be a big brother”  in other words, a tangible memory of a treasured moment.

This fabric postcard, “A Cool Dude”, offers the perfect opportunity to add those personal touches to make the lucky recipient realize just how special they are to you.  The photo you choose could be a snow scene, a winter sport, a pet, a vacation destination, or that of a loved one.  From now through December 25th, this fabric postcard pattern will be on sale on my Craftsy site.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that the “glass” globe and “snow” are actually made of items I’m certain you have readily available in your home.  I hope you’ll have the time to visit my shop at https://www.craftsy.com/quilting/patterns/A%20Cool%20Dude/535669

…and in doing something positive, you’ll attract more of the same … a good habit to get into as we look to make resolutions for 2018!

 

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Unexpected Gifts in the form of Random Acts of Kindness

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness…every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”  –Scott Adams

It always seems to me that we celebrate the holidays each year to allow ourselves to pause and take stock of what’s really going on around us, to notice those  in our life that we genuinely care about and even to look a bit “over our shoulder” to see what it is we’ve recently accomplished that we can feel good about.  This requires taking the time to step back a bit to get a better view when time seems to be in even shorter supply as the holidays near.  It’s worth it though.  Throughout the year we get caught up in what’s happening right under our nose and so forget to view ourselves as a part of a bigger picture. We forget to notice the people around us and what they might have going on in their lives that shapes our interactions with them, sometimes on a daily basis.  Simply said, the holidays are a time to realize and remember that “it’s not all about us.”

…and yet it can be!  Doing something out of the ordinary feels refreshing and simply amazing! Being the first to give the experience of an unexpected Random Act of Kindness  feels good to two people…the recipient and you.  Kindness starts with one person…be that person.  It doesn’t have to be overt, the recipient doesn’t have to know who “the perpetrator” is…but you will.  One small thoughtful gesture can turn the tide and flow of someone’s day.  Leave a cup of their favorite morning coffee or a single flower on their desk…small kindnesses somehow mean more than grand gestures.  Those small kindnesses leave a trail of warm-and-fuzzy feelings in their wake…hopefully to be paid forward by their recipient…most likely to the next person they encounter.

Secret Santa events continue to be a favorite occurrence at this time of year.  Why? Because at the heart of the event is taking the time to please someone with a gift that’s personal in some way for them.  The giver must pay attention and focus on some small thing to bring on a smile…anonymously.  The very definition of a Random Act of Kindness.

So why not look to be the one to start those ripples of kindness  by sending a gracious holiday message in the form of a fabric postcard?…anonymous or not.  I’ve designed a fabric postcard to be assembled quickly as you listen to your favorite holiday music in the background.   As one of my Random Acts of Kindness I’m offering the “Holiday Wishes” fabric postcard pattern free on Craftsy in time for you to make several and place them in mailboxes, on desks, or even to mail them as your version of a holiday card.  If you can sew a straight line you can make this happen…and I will have started a ripple….

Take a moment to visit “Quiltings By Kathy” at Craftsy for my Holiday Wishes fabric postcard pattern.

 

I’ll be continuing to add a variety of Holiday fabric postcard patterns on Craftsy through the holidays and into the New Year should you be looking for additional designs and are able to give yourself the gifted kindness of time to create….

 

Happy Holidays,

Kathy

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Sending Handmade Holiday Fabric Postcards

Each year I spend a great deal of time choosing holiday cards, writing individualized handwritten notes in each and addressing them to mail to family and friends….and each year I feel more old-school.  We’ve all become so accustomed to sending greetings via technology that holiday cards are feeling obsolete.  I admit to having a subscription  to an electronic card service that I use throughout the year,  not only because I can schedule to send the cards weeks beforehand, but because sending cards can be quite expensive.   Soooo…..I’ve been thinking recently of making my own holiday cards this year in the form of fabric postcards because “no one displays an email on a mantel or shows off a tweet on the fridge, or saves a Facebook post in a box of treasures…”  Add to this the price of the cards.  Hmmmm….at this point I made myself a cup of mocha and gave it more thought….

Fabric postcards are unique and one of a kind for the most part as they are not mass produced.  I would be able to personalize each pc as to color, memorabilia, special interests, shared experiences, pets, photos….while also sending the message that they are worth the time to make something special for…a genuine expression of affection and caring  OR  I might design a new pc each year to send to everyone, much the same as buying a box of holiday cards.

On a more practical level, pc’s are real stash busters when it comes to materials and supplies.  They require scrap-size amounts of fabrics and use a small amount of fusibles and embellishments.  All of the materials and products I’ve purchased without an actual project in mind are fair game for this endeavor.  I have to say I thoroughly enjoy the entire process of making pc’s, from designing to embellishing to choosing the techniques.  I’m always working on exploring or refining my skills with either a new technique or with a new product….holiday pc’s offer the perfect opportunity… complete with a theme.  Pc’s are a small commitment in both time and materials.

The Star

Well…the mocha is gone and I’ve made my decision…I’ve decided to give this a try this season…I’ll continue to post my holiday pc’s as I complete them…would like to know what you think…what you would add…how you might make it yours…

Woodland Christmas Eve

Remember….handmade items are about people, their skill and the magic of their imagination….

Winter Destination

 

 

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Courage and bravery in the face of competition…

…two elements of a person’s character that you don’t know are there until they’re called upon.  I first began submitting my quilts for judging with the Connecticut Piecemakers Quilt Guild…”my” guild.  The women, and 3 men, in this guild represent some of the most encouraging and talented quilters I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside.  Their desire to share their knowledge, resources and, believe it or not, their fabric is unparalleled.  That said, I challenged myself to volunteer during the judging for the 2016 guild quilt show so that I would hear the critique of the judges as they held my quilts in their hands.  I actually stood next to the two judges and heard their whispered comments to each other.  Yikes! Four of the six quilts I entered subsequently won ribbons but what I really won was the perspective of two judges as they held my quilts in their hands.  I had a lot to think about…particularly whether I was quilting to please me or them.  The comment of “needs more quilting” in certain areas rankled me as I had planned the stitching very carefully.  It took a few days for me to “hear” what they had said.  I laid my quilts on the bed one by one and allowed myself to consider…possibly…what they had been referring to…maybe.  It took a few weeks for me to realize that what I in fact wanted more than anything was to “measure up” alongside quilters I held in high regard.  I began to think about adding more stitching…and believe it or not I liked the results.  I took out the comments I had saved from the judges and took their suggestions to heart.  When I had finished I liked what I had done.  Ultimately I chose to enter 3 of the 6 quilts in the Eastern States Exposition and each of them won ribbons amongst hundreds of quilts from 5 eastern states…a first place, a second place and a third place ribbon……but I love challenging myself.  I determined to participate in the 2016 Row x Row Experience.  I traveled to 8 different quilt shops to collect the patterns I found the most charming and went to work.  I hardly left my sewing studio for the months of July and August last year….and again I took the judges suggestions to heart.  Each of the 8 rows was quilted with a different stitch pattern with a variety of threads.  I designed and quilted the 9th row myself.  What I loved most about the entire experience was taking the basic look of the patterned row and making it mine with embellishment, quilting and threads.  Out came the bravery and courage and I entered it in the Big E…I’m proud to say it won Judge’s Choice!….the elusive ribbon I’ve been reaching for!
Here is a photo of my 2016 Row x Row quilt …
What fun I had designing embellishments and making the patterns my own.  The fabrics on the design wall are all from my Dad’s shirts, the window view in the sewing room is a winter scene rather than a tropical one.  All of the buildings in the 4 corner blocks were fussy cut, rearranged and quilted to create a small town feel.  My older son, Mark, designed the fencing in the top row on his CAD program and I used confetti quilting to create the autumn trees…and if you look closely you’ll find Snoopy running for his life in the Halloween scene.
Never have I enjoyed making a quilt so much!  If it’s one thing that excites me it’s using a variety of techniques and materials in the creation of one quilt!
So be brave and courageous…and give “it” a try…whatever your “it” is…

 

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“The Cottage” workshop

 

Worked with a great group of quilters from CT Piecemakers Quilt Guild to teach them to use Texture Magic in making my “Cottage” fabric postcard yesterday. As always…a lot of sewing, laughing, chatting and sharing went on. Turns out no one wants to mail their postcard…seems they don’t want to part with their masterpieces and instead plan on displaying them proudly in their home. Thank you all for making my workshop so enjoyable!

 

  

 

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The Cottage

Well…this is me jumping back in!  I’ve used the time away to reorganize QuiltingsByKathy, to refine my skills and to realign my goals.  I’ve met a lot of inspirational and talented people on this journey and honestly look forward to meeting many more.  I learn something from everyone I meet.  One of the smartest things I did for myself, as well as the most enjoyable, was to join the Connecticut Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Trumbull, Ct.  The amount of talent, knowledge and skill collectively that amasses each time we gather is awe inspiring.  The presenters are some of the best in the U.S. and cover a wide range of quilting techniques and materials.  But what I love most about the guild is the willingness to share and give to those who need it, whether it be quilting-related with one of our members or to groups who work first hand with those less fortunate.
And…come Tuesday, September 19th, I will be presenting a class to the Ct Piecemakers on “The Cottage”.   Each fabric postcard I’ve designed uses a focused technique and/or material.  One of the spell binding aspects of this form of quilting is that fabric postcards require a small amount of time and materials.  The perfect venue for trying something new.  I will be sharing a variety of ways to use this art form, including display and swapping.
Talk about meeting people….I have boxes of fabric postcards I’ve swapped with other enthusiasts from around the world…Australia, Germany, England, etc.  With each new fabric postcard that arrives in my mailbox I continue to learn something new again, whether it be the form of binding, a  technique, a new use for something old or even a new material I’ve not come across yet.
I hope you’ll check back with me following Tuesday’s class as I will be posting photos of the class.
I leave you today with my first thought of autumn….

Autumn Bluster

Happy stitching, Kathy

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The Cottage…fabric postcard art

The Cottage

Well…this is me jumping back in!  I’ve used the time away to reorganize QuiltingsByKathy, to refine my skills and to realign my goals.  I’ve met a lot of inspirational and talented people on this journey and honestly look forward to meeting many more.  I learn something from everyone I meet.  One of the smartest things I did for myself, as well as the most enjoyable, was to join the Connecticut Piecemakers Quilt Guild in Trumbull, Ct.  The amount of talent, knowledge and skill collectively that amasses each time we gather is awe inspiring.  The presenters are some of the best in the U.S. and cover a wide range of quilting techniques and materials.  But what I love most about the guild is the willingness to share and give to those who need it, whether it be quilting-related with one of our members or to groups who work first hand with those less fortunate.

And…come Tuesday, September 19th, I will be presenting a class to the Ct Piecemakers on “The Cottage”, the fabric postcard art piece you see pictured above.  Each fabric postcard I’ve designed uses a focused technique and/or material.  One of the spell binding aspects of this form of quilting is that fabric postcards require a small amount of time and materials.  The perfect venue for trying something new.  I will be sharing a variety of ways to use this art form, including display and swapping.

Talk about meeting people….I have boxes of fabric postcards I’ve swapped with other enthusiasts from around the world…Australia, Germany, England, etc.  With each new fabric postcard that arrives in my mailbox I continue to learn something new again, whether it be the form of binding, a  technique, a new use for something old or even a new material I’ve not come across yet.

I hope you’ll check back with me following Tuesday’s class as I will be posting photos of the class.

I leave you today with my first thought of autumn….

Autumn Bluster

Happy stitching, Kathy

 

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