2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

If you already follow me here on the blog, you’re probably thinking I fell asleep while binding and was smothered by a quilt. I mean, it has been over a month since I’ve posted. And we know how dangerous quilting can be. Gangsta dangerous.

Most of what I post is still over on Instagram, but here I am this week with a virtual army of quilt bloggers for the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop hosted by Jen @ Dizzy Quilter, Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts, Sandra @ mmm!quilts, and Tish @ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland.

These organized blog wonder women sorted us blog newbies into hives, and (don’t be jealous, y’all) the one I’m in (led by Jen) has the coolest name: Quilt, Blog, Repeat. Nailed it. Our own lovely Becca @ Pretty Piney made our killer graphic.

The Quilt, Blog, Repeat Weeks 1 and 2 were a big hit with Jan @ Cocoa Quilts, Michelle @ Creative Blonde, Nicole @ Handwrought Quilts, and Becca @ Pretty Piney

Roseanne @ Home Sewn by Us and I are heading up Week 3 for this hive, but you’ll also want to check out the other hives in the lineup (and next week, be sure to visit Karen @ The Quilt Rambler and Sarah @ 9658 Textiles). There is a TON of quiltiness happenin’ on this hop! Don’t forget to enter the star-studded giveaway on the hosts’ blogs!! Woot! Free swag!

A bit about Tara at The Quilt District…

I learned how to quilt in early 2014 on YouTube. My husband and I began to call it my Quilt Porn. I watched everything I could get my hands on. I’d watch even the clips or full shows that I thought, on first glance, I might not like or need—maybe I’d already seen a pineapple block made or this clip was from the 80s and it might be tired. I still watched. Thank God I did! I learned something each time that made me a better quilter. Every. Single. Time.

You can see a few examples of my work here on my Gallery page.

Fast forward 4 years and I’m designing quilt patterns and diving deep into the history of quilts. I still have my day job, but someday… someday I’ll be full time at this quilty thing. I promise. Until that day, I’ll just be hella tired.

You can find the link to my first pattern, Churned Up, over on my Patterns tab. My next pattern, Prescott Road, is in the works with a release targeted for this summer. Snippets of Prescott Road are on my Instagram feed. Two other patterns are brewing for release soon after that. If you’d like to stay plugged into what’s happening at The Quilt District, pop to the right-side of this page and enter your email address. I’ll never spam you; you’ll just get notified when I post.

I hope I’ll see you around here (or on Instagram) sometimes. In the meantime… I have a question for you. Would you answer it in the comments below before popping out to visit the other bloggers and enter the giveaway?

How did YOU start on your quilting journey?

All My Quilty Love,
~ Tara

 

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How I Made My Design Wall

I have moved into my new sewing space, and although it isn’t finished, it HAD to get a design wall ASAP. I had making to do! After poking around the interwebz, I cobbled together bits of what I learned and made a design wall that works for me and my space. It is large at 96″ wide x 83″ high. It holds fabric nicely and I can stick pins in it.

This thing makes me feel like I’m Winning at Quilt Life.

How I made my design wall

Here’s the basic rundown on supplies:

  • 1 queen-size flannel flat sheet
    (a soft gray is an excellent backdrop for auditioning colorful fabric)
  • duct tape (a lot!)
  • 2 packages of insulation foam panels
    (I got mine at Home Depot. Each package came with 6 panels that were 14-1/2″ x 48″ each)
  • basting spray
  • 2-3 value packs of jumbo Command strips
  • a level (if needed, for hanging)
  • a razor blade/super sharp knife
    (scissors are not sharp enough to get a clean cut on this foam material)
  • a long, straight-edge ruler
  • enough floor space to lay everything out
  • a helper (not shown)

I laid out the flannel sheet with the front side down. I did not cut this sheet, because I might want to use it as a sheet someday. Could happen. Once it was laid down, I made it mostly smooth and taped it to the floor at the edges.

Each of the two packages of foam panels contained six panels. I trimmed 4 inches off the bottom long sides of two panels so the design wall didn’t cover a vent and electrical outlets.

Spray the adhesive on a panel, lay it on the sheet and press. Continue with all the panels, taping the seams with duct tape as you butt the edge of each to the last. I failed to get a picture of the initial layout of the panels, so here’s a graphic.

Fold the sheet over at the top and bottom first. Tape down where you’ve brought the fabric over. Next, fold the sheet over at the sides, making a slight taper with the fold to make it nice and tidy on the edge. Tape all around.

Now, tape the snot out of the back. Criss-cross the tape in long strips to create some stability to the horizontal and vertical seams.

Apply the command strips generously to the back, spacing them around to get good hold coverage. Follow the instructions on the package about the tape and loop and paper backing.

Get that helper to help you hang and position this beautiful beast to the wall. Use a level if you need to. I butted mine up to the ceiling. Voila!

Happy Quilting!

~~Tara

P.S. My biggest inspiration was this tutorial from The Quilting Edge. She made hers modular!

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Improv Workshop with Gee’s Bend Quilters

We do not remember days, we remember moments.

~ Cesare Pavese

Yesterday’s Gee’s Bend workshop at Heritage Hall in Talladega, Alabama was filled with beautiful moments.

China caught me picking apart some fabric strips (which I thought was going rather well), took them from me and just started pulling them apart. Just grab and pull. I would have thought that would warp the fabric or something, but nope. They came apart as if she’d already pulled the stitches out. My table mate and I got a huge laugh at me over that. I really wish I had it on video because it was hilarious.

Of course, China and Mary Ann sang as we worked.

What I admire most about the women of Gee’s Bend is their spirit. These women and their families have known true hardships, and yet they arrive with joy in their hearts and love to share.

They give more than they take.

A lesson for all of us. I have running water, insulated walls, and food in my belly. I’ll bet you do, too.

The Ladies Pettway brought in a bin of fabric odds and ends and we tossed in a few bits of our own. In the bin I found a hand-painted panel depicting pastoral birds, which sent me off in one direction because I had some silly notion that it was meant to be that I work with this thing. Well, I guess it was meant to be in that it taught me that I shouldn’t always listen to silly notions.

Have mercy, y’all… this thing is ug-ly. (Except for the birds. The birds are really pretty.)

But it was terrific fun and felt liberating to sew on something that had no plan, no destination, no pattern, no rules, no deadline. It was freeing. I think I’ll use improv in the future as a way to clear my mind between (or during) more structured projects.

xoxo,
~~ Tara

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Movin’ On Up…

Today I start painting the room that will soon be my sewing studio (doesn’t that sound fancy?).

This was my eldest stepdaughter’s room until she went to college, then it was my stepson’s room until he went to college four years later. Now, it’s going to be MY room. HA!

Here’s a portion of what my “studio” is like now. It’s my kitchen table. The cutting table is the kitchen island (not shown). My fabric is stowed away in cabinets, dressers, and under a bed in another room.

Kitchen "Sewing Studio"
Kitchen “Sewing Studio”

I am soooo looking forward to my kitchen being neat and tidy again without all the sewing cluttering it up. And when we have guests, I will no longer have to put everything (except the design wall) away and get it all back out again. That really puts a hitch in my sewjo when I have to do that.

And here’s the room I’m moving into! Upstairs. Away from the kitchen and common areas of the house.

Primer goes on today and I’m auditioning paint colors, but will go with a taupe-y gray that doesn’t compete with the fabrics I’m working with on projects. I want the color in the room to come from fabric.

Studio Before
Studio Before

I’ll be moving some things in before there is proper flooring, because our friends from England are visiting in a couple of weeks and we need the kitchen dining table, but I still need to be able to sew. Baby steps, y’all. Sometimes life is a series of baby steps. As long as it’s onward and upward, that’s fine by me.

~~ Tara

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