Tuesday, April 30, 2019

~ Tennessee Bound! ~

Just how far will a quilter go for a good deal on fabric?  It depends on the quilter.  But most of us will go a little farther than what seems rational.  My non quilting friends think it's irrational to be a quilter.  Paying hundreds of dollars for fabric and supplies then working for weeks or months to make a quilt that they believe can be purchased at any big box store for a quarter of the price.   My response to them is usually something a little snarky but they end up getting the point.  To me it doesn't seem rational to pay someone to put fake nails on my fingers when press on nails are so much cheaper.  Or why pay hundreds of dollars for a hair color and a hair cut when Walmart has hair color and scissors?   And why on earth would any woman pay for a pedicure when you have husband who could massage your feet and paint your toenails!   LOL!  That'll be the day!  

At one time Mr. Podunk also questioned my fabric purchases and quilt making.  That is until the day I questioned his fishing trips that produced no fish on the table.   Hundreds and thousands of dollars of fishing "tools", boats and canoes, and let's not forget the hundreds of dollars spent in gas getting to just the right fishing location somewhere in the US. Coming home home empty handed seemed irrational.  Not really, but it helped him to see my point.  This all happened years ago, we now have an understanding and support the other interests with no questions asked.  So this leads me back to my original question, how far will a quilter go for a good deal on fabric?  Well this week for me it was 4 1/2 hours away.  Tennessee here I come!

I've been planning this trip for a month.  For the entire month it seemed rational.  About 2 1/2 hours into the drive I started questioning my own sanity.  I mean really, a 4 hour drive for fabric?  Wouldn't shipping costs be less than the price of gas in the truck?  Sure, but it's not always about putting the fish on the table, right?  Just take it all in and enjoy the journey.  Going through cities is always a big treat.  Being a country girl has it's advantages, one of them is I'm easily impressed even with smaller cities like Louisville, Kentucky.  To me it's HUGE!   

Once we made it through the iron jungle I felt more at home and comfortable with the decision travel all this way for fabric.  It's a little greener down in TN than back home in Indiana.  The scenery and the talk of the scenery made the ride pass by quickly.  Mr. Podunk was raised in Pennsylvania and he often misses the mountains. Indiana is pretty flat compared to PA.   The hills and mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee were an added treat for him.  He loved the winding interstate driving that made me feel like I needed a 5 point harness seat belt.  Who needs Kentucky Kingdom roller coasters with winding mountain interstate roads.  Just strap in, put the pedal to the metal and hope the police don't see you.  A speeding ticket might be cheaper than a day at an amusement park...HAHA!

  Choice fabric is a wholesale fabric distributor.  They sale discontinued fabrics.  Most of the fabrics they sell are brands normally found in quilt shops and also have their own brand, which I have also seen in some of our better quilt shops in Indiana.  If you been following me for any time at all you know I'm no fabric snob.  I use it all.  Designer fabrics are great but when I see a print I like I don't care what's on the selvage, I don't care if it's new or old, it all sews pretty much the same.

I've never in my life seen so many bolts of  fabric in one place!  The picture below was taken from the very last isle of the warehouse/store.  The last 3 isles you can see is flat folds or skinny bolts.  The 7 or 8 isles before these were bolts on top of bolts.  On the far bottom right of the picture is a laundry bin/shopping cart.  I was shocked to see how many shoppers had one or two of these full in the check out lines.  I'm pretty sure they were quilt shop owners.  It was well worth the trip to see all the fabric and the like minded fabric crazed shoppers.

We were back on the road and headed home after about an hour of shopping.  This trip may not seam like a big deal since so many quilting people are going to big quilt shows, rubbing elbows with fabric manufacturers and being featured here and there on social media.  But for this little country girl who refuses to play by some of the rules, it was huge.  It was just what I needed after a recent rejection of my patterns by a huge wholesale company.  Apparently I'm not big enough for them. They loved my patterns but my footprint in the quilting world isn't large enough.  My heart sank for a very short bit, then I pulled up my big girl pants and looked at it rationally.  They were right.  All I can do is keep moving forward.  Rejection is always a step forward, at least I took the chance and learned something.

I know you're wondering if I loaded up the truck with bolts of fabric.  No, but I did come home with a really cute Robert Kaufman print, it will fit right in with the happy and bright color pallet I love so much.  I also purchased 2 bolts of  bright white since I use it almost exclusively as background fabric in most of my quilt designs.  Yes, I could have purchased this in their online shop for the same price and the shipping would have been cheaper than the gas to get there.  But I wouldn't have had the journey.  

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Monday, April 29, 2019

~ Giveaway Winner! ~

Thank you to all who entered last weeks giveaway.  The response was overwelming.  Picking a winner is never easy because I wish everyone could win.   A random name generator called MiniWebTool did the hard job of picking the winner.

So without further ado.....Drum roll please......DBDBDBDBDBDBD(drum roll sound)
Madonna @sunnybunnyquilts entered the giveaway on my Instagram account. She has been contacted and her bundle will be sent out as soon as I get a response.

There's one more surprise scheduled for my Birthday month.  It will be in my first newsletter that will be sent out later this week.  So make sure your signed up!  The newsletter is different than subscribing to email notifications.  You need to fill out the form that looks like the image below, it can be found in the sidebar of this blog.   If you are using a phone to view my blog you'll need to view it in web view to see the sign up form.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

~ Lecien Fabric Giveaway! ~

For the last week of my Birthday month celebration, Pat from Cottage Couture Fabrics has generously offered this 13 Fat Quarter Bundle of Lecien fabrics to ONE lucky winner!  Pat is know for curating her own bundles.  She carries a large variety of fabric lines and is a genius at putting them together.  She selects a fabrics that will allow you to the best of the line without breaking the bank.  So if you buy from Pat you'll have plenty of money leftover to buy a pattern from me!...LOL!  

To enter the giveaway here on the blog all you need to do is subscribe to my Newsletter.  
  1.  The sign up for my newsletter is in the side bar of this blog.  If you are on a phone you will need go to WEB VIEW to see the sidebar.  Once you have subscribed you will receive a free quilt pattern.  
  2. Visit Cottage Couture  Etsy shop, come back here and leave a comment below letting me know what you love in her shop.
  It' that easy!  Good Luck!  

If you would like chances to win this bundle, visit my Facebook and Instagram and Follow the rules for each.

Giveaway ends 4-28-19 at midnight.  Winner will be announce the following morning.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

~ Easter Weekend ~

Our Easter weekend was fairly low key.  It started out with happy mail.  It's not fabric but at this point in my pattern business it just as exciting.  Getting a good quilt photo can be difficult especially when the sun refuses to shine for days on end.  What can quilter do?  Buy some sunshine and bring it indoors!  A big Thank You to Connie over Free Motion by the River for sharing her photography set up. I bought exactly what she suggested.  You can read about it here.

Well after setting up lights, lights and more lights, I started taking pictures.  Testing which group of lights worked best.   Most people don't realize an entire day can be spent taking pictures and editing them.  There's been many times it would take 2 or 3 days when the lighting is bad.  Getting the perfect shot for marketing isn't easy when you do it yourself.  But I'm learning new tricks all the time from talented quilters like Connie who are willing to share their knowledge.  Bloggers really are a valuable resource.

All of Saturday was spent in the office and taking photos.  By Sunday morning I was ready for a little family time. The grand kids live about 3-4 hours away so we can't always be together on the holidays.  A few of us "older" family members met up at my dads for a very low key Easter gathering.  There was no egg hunt or traditional ham feast.  We had sandwiches, chips and a few summer time salads.  Dad being the chef that he is whip a mighty fine Marie Callender Peach Pie.  To me it's not about whats on the table but who's around the table that matters.  I love these easy going family times.  The biggest excitement was my nephew's new to him car.  A Corvette!  He's one of those "car guys".  I see him 2 or 3 times a year and it's almost a sure bet each time he'll have a different new to him car.  This one he  found on the internet.  He flew to Utah to pick it up and drove it back to Indiana.  Never in my life have I considered flying anywhere to purchase a car.  The younger generation are definitely an adventurous bunch.   Dad also is a "car guy".  He is one man with 4 vehicles.  So he was all over the new hot rod parked in his drive.

It was just the 4 of us, me and dad and my niece and nephew.  My boys had other adventurous plans.  To find out what they were up to was easy.  They love to post their small vacations on Instagram.  This is my oldest, Derek enjoying nature.  I've not had the chance to ask him what he was doing on the fallen tree but he looks to be content whatever he's doing.  

 Remember when I told you they were modern day hippies?  Well this is what they consider good overnight accommodations.  No room service or Continental breakfast here!  Mr. Podunk and I have done this style of camping but it ended about 5 years ago.  Nowadays we are the cabin renting kind of campers.  It's nice to have running water and a bed after years of roughing it.

 This part of their trip looks like pure heaven to me.  The sound of a river is the best sound in the world.  It picks up your worries and takes them down stream, leaving you feeling like a new person.  Anytime we camp, we always get a place right by the river.  The sound of the river will give you the best nights sleep you've had in months.  

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Friday, April 19, 2019

~ Spring Blossoms Table Runner FREE Tutorial ~

Today I have a sweet little project to share.  Spring Blossoms Table runner was inspired by the spring flowers that are lacking from my yard.  Since the flowers are slow to bloom outside I'm making my own flower garden inside.  The flower block is a variation of my Back Porch Blooms quilt series found on the right sidebar of my blog.

This is a scrappy table runner.  I used several different fabrics from several different lines of fabric and manufacturers.

Not only is the Blossom block a variation of the Back Porch Blooms, I also change up the leaves a little.  Even with all the changes the blocks are still easy to make.  

Awe....just look how cute it looks on the desk in my office.  

So lets get to it!  The cutting list will be listed above each diagram.  All fabrics will be layered with right sides together before stitching.  All seams are 1/4".   Pressing directions are indicated with arrows on images. 
  The background, binding and backing is all white.  The estimated yardage is 2 yds.  It's estimated with overage for those little UH-OH's.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

(4) 4.5 x 3 Blue     (8) Red 4.5 x 3     (32) 1.5 x 1.5 White Background

Draw a line from corner to corner on all (32) 1.5 x 1.5 White Background.  Layer (1) 1.5 x 1.5 on both upper corners of (1) Blue 4.5 x 3.  Stitch on the drawn line.  Trim 1/4" away from the outside of the stitched line.  Press.  Repeat for all RED and Blue 4.5 x 3.

Repeat the same method of Stitch, Clip and Flip as in the previous step.  

(6) 2 x 4.5 Yellow     (8) 1.5 x 1.5 Red    (4) 1.5 x 1.5 Blue

(6) 2 x 1.5 Yellow     (3) 1.5 x 1.5 Red

Assemble (2) 2 x 1.5 Yellow with (1) 1.5 x 1.5, Press.

Assemble the two previous units as shown below, Press

(12)2 x 3 White Background     (12)2 x 1.5 White Background    (12)1.5 x 1.5 Pink

Layer and stitch together (1)2 x 1.5 and (1)1.5 x 1.5 Pink.  Press.  To this unit add (1)2 x 3 White BG as shown below.  I forgot the pressing arrow on the image.  Press to the 2 x 3 White Background.  Use the diagram to make (2) sets of (6).

 Assemble the units as show below, Press.

(8) 2 x 4.5 Green print 1     (8) 2 x 4.5 Green print 2    (32) 1.5 x 1.5 White Background

Draw a line from corner to corner of all (32) 1.5 x 1.5 White Background.  Layer and Stitch together (1) Green print 1 and (1) Green print 2.  Press to the side, it doesn't matter which way you press.  Repeat with all Green prints.  Layer (1) 1.5 x 1.5 on all corners of the green unit.  Stitch, clip and flip.  Press.

(8) 4.5 x 2.5 White Background   (8) 4.5 x 4.5 White Background  (4) 1.5 x 9.5 Green 

Assemble (1) 4.5 x 2.5 with (1) leaf unit.  Repeat with all leaf units.  Assemble (1) 4.5 x 4.5 White Background with the new leaf unit. Press. Repeat with all leaf units.  Assemble (2) leaf units with (1) 1.5 x 9.5 Green.  Use the diagram below for leaf  unit placement.  Their is (2) different leaf blocks.

Assemble the blocks as show below.  Press.

Cut (4) 3.25 x WOF White Background, sew end to end.  Cut into (2) 63.50 x 3.25 and (2) 15.5 x 3.25

Layer and Stitch (2) 63.50 x 3.25 to both long sides.  Press.

Layer and Stitch (2) 15.5 x 3.25 to each end.  Press.

Now all that is left to do is add the backing, quilt and bind!  Yeah!   

For the backing I cut (2) 22 x WOF White Background.  Remove selvages, Stitched end to end with a 1/2" seam.  Press to the side.   

The binding (4) 2.25 x WOF White Background.

If you make the Spring Blossoms table runner pattern please send me pictures, I LOVE seeing your creations with my tutorials and patterns.  You can send them to podunkpretties@gmail.com 

#scrappytablerunner #tablerunner #freetablerunnertutorial #freespringquilt #springtablerunner #flowertablerunner #eastertablerunner #scrappymakemehappy 

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

~ Shout out to Em's Scrap Bag ~

Just like most of you everyday I sit down at my computer and read a few blog post.  I have to admit I don't read as many as I used to for a couple of reasons.  Number 1 reason:  Lack of blogs.  Bloggers are leaving the blogging scene and using the quick and easy way of  communicating on social media. Instagram seems to be the hottest thing going these days.    Number 2 reason:  TIME...or the lack there of.   That being said....Time is wasting so lets get right to the point of this blog post.  
Em's Scrapbag, have you heard of this blogger?  Well if not let me tell you, Em is an amazing scrap quilter and designer.  Her blog is always full of color and inspiration.  Again I'll admit I don't always read her posts but I try fit in as many as I can when I get the time.  Anyway.....Somehow I totally missed out on her new quilt along this year.....let me rephrase that...her FREE quilt along.  The photo below is what caught my eye as I scrolled through Blogger Reader.  Aren't these little houses just darling?

As I read through the blog post I realized this was a quilt along.  How did I miss that?  When did it start?  Is there an introduction page?  After a few clicks on her blog I found the answers to all my questions.  Click here for the Page with all the links each part of the QAL.  The first post about the QAL was in January, then every month since.  Boy do I feel like a doof.  Somehow I've overlooked every post since January.  We'll blame it on the dog!   The picture below shows the QAL quilt minus the center....you have got to see the scrappy center.  The center is so me.  I'd love to jump right in my pile-o-scraps and start stitching.   

Don't forget to check out Em's weekly link up.  There's always something new and exciting being shared by other bloggers.  The theme for the linky party is all about making progress and moving forward on projects.  Hence the name Moving it Forward Monday.  Hop over and join the party!

As I mentioned early Em is also a quilt pattern designer.  Almost all of her patterns use scraps.  You can find her pattern shop here.  Don't forget to check out her homemade soaps.....I LOVE LOVE LOVE her soaps.  I've been using them for over a year now.  It's the only bars of soap I use.  Let me say I am in no way affiliated with Em other than I'm one happy customer and I love her soap.  I do not and will  not receive anything for this shout out to Em's shop. 

#2019QAL #quiltalong2019 #freequiltpattern #podunkpretties

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