Thursday, December 29, 2022

A New Year with a New Restart

The best explanation of my hiatus is...burn out. Months passed without stepping foot in my happy place.  Then it was "Enter with CAUTION!"  I thought Mr. Podunk was going to need the hedge trimmers to release me from all the cobwebs. 

After knocking down the cobwebs I started quilting up a few older quilts tops.  I'll start sharing those one at a time on January 2, 2023.

The new Podunk will be more like the old Podunk.  Just me sharing my creations and Podunk happenings.  No YouTube and no pattern shop.  I just want to create and share here on the blog.  No deadlines, no algorithms to worry about and no more learning new technology every other month.

For those I let down, I'm sorry.  Please understand that my mental and physical health was taking a hard hit because I was a one man band doing it all, from writing patterns to editing videos.  My best quilting buddy told me I was wrong for stopping without letting everyone know.  I had to take care of me and get rid of a few negative things in my life.

I'm back, doing what I love, feeling better about everything.  If your still here, Thank you for understanding.  I look forward to our quilting journey.  And if your wondering...If I create it...I'll tell you how to recreate it here on the blog..FREE.

Until Next Time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Friday, January 28, 2022

Floral Vintage Fabric

  I wasn't planning on writing a blog post today.  So this one is going to be a short and sweet, to the point.
I felt like playing in the fabric stash.  You know straightening, sorting and finding hidden treasures.  I bet most of you are surprised to see the purple print.  It's not a color I use often. But this one I love.  

Here's a shot of the selvage.  Peter Pan Fabrics INC.  is vintage fabric, or so the internet says.  My online search didn't yield much information but honestly I didn't dig real deep into the search.   I've had this fabric in my stash for years.  It was part of a huge quilting estate sale I purchased for $200.  For $200 I had one truckload of fabric and notions.  Most I gave away due to there was a lot of novelty prints and things I would never use.  The second truckload was a midarm quilter and frame.  That too I no longer own.  Most of the fabric I kept is now fabric I rarely even see.  It's tucked away in my cabinet of misfits.  Occasionally the thought crosses my mind to sell or donate them.  It's not going to happen!  This is my go to cabinet for making quilts for other people.  Most people I know don't want a quilt made with bright happy fabrics.  So it's nice to have the older fabric stash.  The purple print is being upgraded today and will now be in my "I love it" fabric cabinet.

Until next time...

Hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Making Sweet Hearts

Working with the color red feeds my quilting soul.  No other color excites me quite like red.  Do you have a color that sparks your creativity?  Is there one color that will keep you sewing for hours just because you love the color so much?  Mine of course is RED.

Embracing the color red was really hard.  Why?  Well, it all goes back to my childhood.  Some of you might have been programmed with these same ideas.  Red was bad, especially for a proper young lady.  You know...Only "naughty" girls wore red.  Red clothing was set aside for Christmas time only.  And then were these very negative statements

Seeing red
The angry red menace(our monthly thang)
The red light district
The Scarlet(red) Letter

As a child I don't remember having any red clothing(except for Christmas) until I purchased some myself as a teenager.  My mom frowned upon my color choice.  She let me know it was too much.  Seriously?  A baggy red sweater was inappropriate to wear to school or out on a date?  And I knew better than to buy a pair of red high heel pumps.  I had them in every color but red.  Yes back in the day I was quite the girly girl.   The ultimate no-no was RED FINGER NAIL POLISH!  Had I painted my nails red I'm pretty sure I would have been grounded for life.

You should have seen my moms face the first time I exposed my red toenails.  I was in my 30's and she said a few words I'll not repeat here.    I love red toenails but can't stand polish on my fingernails.  In my circle of friends I became the girl with red toes.  My friends change the color they paint their toes and often ask if I ever planned to use any other color on mine.  Nope, I've never paint them anything but red.  For the life of me I can't figure out why.  I like what I like, I guess.  A therapist would delve deep into the why but honestly I don't care to hear what they think about me and the obsession with red.  It makes my little ole heart go pitter-pat.  Good or bad, it's a fact and good enough for me.

Enough about me, lets get back to my cute little red quilt.  This one will be called "Let Me Call You Sweetheart".   (I planted a song seed in your brain, you'll be singing it the rest of the day!)  With this quilt I won't be saving the flippy corner cutoffs.  They will be used in this quilt.

I wish I could find a way to use these tiny little cutoffs for something more than stuffing for a dog bed.  A fiber artist I am not, so stuffing the dog bed is the best option for no waste.  Notice my scrap trash can is also red.

I guess the whole point of this post was to show you my current quilt project and to inspire you to work with the color you love.  Find that one color that makes your heart sing and build YOUR ultimate stash and sewing room(house and decor) around that one color.  So if you are one of those quilters that love Halloween colors you can make any quilt in those colors.  Even this quilt could be a Halloween Love Quilt.  Others may not like your colors but who cares.  They don't have to live with it everyday you do.  

All colors have a positive and negative meaning, so the real problem might just be how an individual looks at them.  The color red gets a bad rap in my youth but as an adult I see it in a more positive light.

Rosy red cheeks
The Ruby Red Slippers
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues(a line from the song Let's Dance, by David Bowie)

There are so many positives about the color red, it's a very energetic color.  The best positive is it also is know to be the color of LOVE.  Now how could that be bad.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Scraps Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Just when you think you finally have a good grasp, handle or plan for the UFO's and scrap fabrics, this happens.  You discover a box of forgotten scraps.

This is my applique scraps and tool kit.  The good thing is it's pretty well organized and small.  Let's dig in here and see if I can come up with a plan to use up some of scrap pieces.

Amazing how much stuff can fit in one little box.  There's things in here that to be honest, I don't know why I have them.  For instance the store bought embroidered applique.  I don't think I bought them or would ever use them but I also don't have the heart to get rid of them because they are kind of cute.

On the hand I feel like the leftover applique pieces I can work into quilts.  Look at the bag of bias strips!  While digging through this box I realize I could start making plans to use them up and actually make some things with them. But I guarantee you the box of applique will keep growing as I work to use the contents.  

These look promising. Just add a few of the scrappy leaves and some bias strips and BAM I'll have a cute little spring wall hanging.

And these....could be little flowers for the wall hanging.  Oh yes! I have a vision for a smaller lap quilt.  It would use up most of the leaves and the brighter colored applique pieces in this box.  I could use the scrap bias strips to make a vine border, add the leaves and flower applique to the vine.....

So I put it all back in the box and took the dog for a walk.   By the time we return from our walk I had come to my senses.  I'm not dealing with those scraps right now.  Stay the course Lea Anne!  Go square up some HST's!  If you're new here and wondering "What HST's?".  Click here.

Thanks for stopping by my little spot in Podunk.

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

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Sunday, January 23, 2022

True Grips, Truly Grip

The HST trimming is progressing along slowly.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can read all about my HUGE stash of bonus HST's by clicking this link

The slow progress is partly due to this Quilt In a Day ruler.  It works great but man is it slick.

Most of my rulers have been plastered with Nexcare transparent tape.  The tape has a texture that grips fabric pretty good.  This 6.5" ruler is my most used ruler and has many pieces of the grippy tape.  Seems like overkill but it works.  Maybe it works so well on the 6.5" ruler because it's small and easier to control the slipping.

The Nexcare tape has a minimal effect on the highly polished Quilt In a Day ruler. 

It's time to try something different in order to speed up the trimming process.  These True Grips are made by The Grace Quilting Company.  I won them back in early December during their 12 Days of Christmas online event.  Believe it or not, I just received my winnings Jan.15.  That's a story for another day.

To say the least I was skeptical about the True Grips.  I've used similar products in the past and they were not so great.  That's how Nexcare tape became my go-to for slippery rulers.  When I opened these my first thought was "Wow!  that's a huge instruction sheet for stickers."  But this is an advertisement pamphlet.  No instructions included anywhere on the packaging but I think that's because we all know how stickers work, or at least I hope we do.

Right out of the package they feel different than the ones I used years ago.  The True Grips are thicker and feel a little like rubber.

Two little grips were strategically placed on the ruler, right about where I place my hand when using the ruler.

Success!  Not one little slip during the trimming of about 20 HST's!  Amazing! 

 Since these were free to me I had to check out the price.  Between $5 to $7 for 30 grips per package, 15 large and 15 small.  I used 2 large for this ruler.  The small grips are the center that is cut out of the larger circle.

I placed the remaining grips back on the pamphlet to keep them like new until I need them.  Funny how they stick to the glossy paper but they aren't sticky to the touch.  My guess would be these are made from the same stuff as static stickers, but that's purely a guess.  All that matters to me is they work like a charm and I will never use Nexcare on my rulers again.  And that's big deal because I can be a little thrifty/cheap.  These are worth every penny!

Thanks for stopping by my little spot in Podunk!

Until next time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

Edited to add this to the Nifty Notions Tab.

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Unboxing the Sew Yeah Subscription Box

 There's many quilting subscription boxes available online these days.  It seems like every year a few more become available.  This is my second time trying out a new to me box.  For me it's like I'm getting a surprise gift every month.  The only thing that would make it better is if it were FREE.  I don't think the Sew Yeah brothers are on the same page but you never know maybe they'll surprise me someday.  (Brody, if your reading this...HINT,HINT, my birthday is the first week of April) 

Okay, lets start digging into the Sew Yeah Basics Box.  First thing to mention is the theme of the year.  BASICS, this means every box this year will include fabrics from a basic line of fabric.  Twelve different designer fabric manufacturers have signed on to fill these boxes.  To me basic fabrics means it could be solids, marbled, gingham, dots or a blender of any kind.  

 This is probably the most basic and unattractive subscription box I've seen.  But I knew this in advance, they shared the BASIC box in a couple of their videos. The black tissue paper is pretty BASIC also and it's their brand color so it too was to be expected.  I'm sure my loyal followers at this point are wondering why I would choose this box.  Honestly, I wonder myself!...LOL!  I like a surprise and a challenge.  You see, the Sew Yeah Brothers like to challenge quilters to get out of their comfort zone.  Whether it be with color or style.  To some degree I agree with them.  In order to grow in any area of life one must be a little uncomfortable sometimes.  Well I'm uncomfortable with this box so far, mission accomplished!

Shew, peeling back the black paper and seeing the happy colors with smiling faces takes the edge off of that uncomfortable feeling.  The Sew Yeah brothers always make me smile and remind me of my own mischievous boys who are about the same age as the brothers.

So what's in this box?
From left to right in the image below

1. The Sew Yeah Brothers, then on the back is a brief explanation of this year BASIC box subscription.  It also includes social media and their shop information.
2. A small card with a (corny)DAD joke.  Who doesn't like a good laugh?  
3.  Information about this months sponsor, Riley Blake.  On the back is the Riley Blake designer, Christopher Thompson and his line of fabric called, Blossom.
4.  QR codes for the Sew Yeah online shop and the best part is a QR code that takes you to exclusive projects and an interview with the fabric designer of the month.

I can't tell you how excited I was to see Riley Blake as the sponsor of this box.  You all know my love affair with Riley Blake.  In my humble opinion they have the best fabric.  Not just prints and color but the overall quality of their fabrics.  If I'm going to pay top dollar I want top quality.  Riley Blake has never let me down.  The owner Cindy Clowder is down to earth and goes out of her way to make quilting fun for everyone, from designers down to the fabric customer.

Well this months fabric is definitely out of my comfort zone.  When I saw BLOSSOM, by Christopher Thompson was going to be in the box, I was excited.  I have a few FQ's of this line.  Of course they are much brighter than these.  These are fairly good sizes of fabric.
(2) 1/2 yds., (1) 20 x WOF and (1) 1.5 yds.

Pastels aren't my colors of choice but I think I might already have a plan for this very 1990's pale fabric.  My living room back in the late 80's early 90's was peach and mint green.  I'm going to use that memory as my inspiration for my project instead of the FREE projects from the QR code mentioned above.  Not that the FREE patterns for this month are bad.  As you can see the quilt and the tissue holder are both really cute.  I just like to do my own thing most of the time.

Next is a spool of Aurifil Thread.  This thread is so light it's almost white. It's so pale I can't tell if its pink or peach. 

You all are going to think I'm crazy but these needles are my favorite part of this entire box.  Schmetz 80/12 needles are my go to when piecing my quilts and when quilting on the frame.  I buy them in bulk on Amazon.  If you haven't tried 80/12 needles you're missing out.  I used to piece with 90/14, and quilt with 100/16.  Both gave me issues from time to time.  Then I read somewhere 80/12 was the best universal needle.  Sounded very odd but I gave them a try and I've been hooked on them for years. Of course I still keep a wide variety of Schmetz needles on hand for unruly fabrics but it's rare that I need them. 

And the last thing in the box is a sticker.  It's cute and I think I'll put it on one of my many binders in my office.  The color is so me!  The youngest brother named, Teancum, designed this sticker.  I love all the brothers but "T" is my favorite.  He's very knowledgeable about quilt fabric and all sewing machines.  He's a mix of Macgyver and Cliff Clavin all rolled in to one.

That's everything in the box.  How does it all add up?  Is this box worth the price?  

Both are good questions and here's my long winded answers.

I paid $58.85 for this box, that includes shipping and my state tax.

Box $55.00
Tax $3.85

I went to their website and used their prices for the contents in this box.

(2) 1/2 yds. = $11.52
(1) 20 x WOF = $7.20
(1) 1.5 yds. = $17.28

(1) spool $13.99

(1) 80/12 = $5.79
The website didn't not have the same needle so I chose them most expensive 80/12.

Not on website = $0

videos are free on YouTube = $0

Total = $53.48

The price of the box $55.00
My State Tax $3.85

I paid $58.85

My thoughts on this subscription box.

Let's state the obvious, this is not a bargain box like some other monthly subscriptions.  It was not pitched to me as a bargain box.  However I will say that I was a bit surprised at the cost break down simply because I am a thrifty kind of gal.  So I'll be reviewing this box as a full price quilter who looks for quality not quantity or price.

 Sew Yeah Brothers mentioned the manufacturers are competing with each other and some of the boxes are going to be much nicer.  That's exciting to hear! 

Even though many of the items in this box are not things I would typically purchase they are of good quality and will make me work out of my comfort zone.  

I would also like to see included in the box a list of what is in the box.  Not the prices but a the product description should I want to purchase more.  Lets say I fall in love with the gray fabric and want more.  There is several different shades of gray Blossom fabric and my fabric cut does not have all the information I need to order more.  Or what if  I run out of the thread and the stickers have fallen off or faded.

The QRcode was a good idea as long as you don't loose the code.  I had to download an app for my computer so I could watch the video in a size that I could see.  It was a fairly easy process and I didn't mind it all.  The app will come in handy since we see those QRcodes a lot these days.  

As I watched the video for the free patterns I had to remind myself I was now a non thrifty quilter.  I also tried not to compare it to my own YouTube videos.  But I can't.  A free quilt pattern means just that an entire pattern.  You can tell me the correct cutting or give me a print out, one or the other I don't care as long as I get the full instructions somehow.  I was disappointed with video instructions.  I thought it was just me.  Nope, I went back a the next day and the comments on the video were the same as I was thinking, lacking in instruction.   The Sew Yeah Brothers are eager and willing to please so they immediately started working a written instructions.  They haven't posted them yet, but they will. 

Overall, it's a good box and I'm looking forward to the months ahead and challenging myself to use the fabrics as they come in each month.

These box subscriptions are sold out but you can get on a waiting list by contacting them.  Here's a link to the website where you can find an email or phone number.

If you are interested in the Live Destash and New Stash Sales here's a link to their YouTube Channel.  By the way Saturday nights are the best time to get good fabric really cheap!

Until Next Time...

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

I love ya!

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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Conquering Mount Scrapmore ~ Quilter Shout Out

 Today I'm doing a little shout out post to a new to me quilter.   Her name is Brenda.  Brenda's YouTube Channel is called Conquering Mount Scrapmore.  I love the name!  Since finding her channel there are days when I step into my Podunk Pretties Studio and think to myself....Welcome to Mount Scrapmore.  It's so fitting for most of us, right?

Brenda is a fairly new YouTuber(almost a year) but you can tell she is not a new quilter.  She's been around the block and has so much knowledge to share.  As a very seasoned quilter myself there's not too much I haven't done.  As with most seasoned quilters we find our style and keep doing that.  Well I love to learn new things.  Sure there's a wide range of YouTube quilters and quilt bloggers but there's not too many who can teach me something I don't already know.  I also like to support the little guy/gal.  I'm sure I could easily find videos of a well known famous quilter who has the same content that I watch in Brenda's video.  Call me crazy but I feel like I stumbled upon Brenda for a reason.  Her style sparked a little fire in me and I find myself anxiously awaiting her next video.  So what is it exactly I'm learning?   If you're a longtime follower of mine you might want to sit down.

Hand piecing 

Yep, I'm totally obsessed with learning the ropes of hand pieced quilts. Not just any quilt, its the one behind her in this screenshot.  Brenda gave me permission to capture some images from her videos.

The name of her pattern is Sunflower.  And it's gorgeous!  She has broken this process down into weekly assignments.  Starting out with choosing and prepping fabrics in part one.  Click here to watch part one.  

Each video is full of detailed information on that weeks assignment and closeups of what you need to do.  Some seem repetitive when it comes to the hand stitching but for a person like me who doesn't do handwork it's perfect.

Another great thing about the "little guy" is, they respond.  Brenda responds to all my comments and questions.  She even took the time to go into more detail on the knot making process because I asked.  Thank you, Brenda!  The "Big Guy" can't reply to  the hundreds or thousands of comments and questions.  Most of them they don't even take the time to look at them.  When we watch like, and comment on YouTube videos the maker makes money and it doesn't cost us anything but a little time.  So the "Big Guy" on YouTube is making big money.  The little guy can give you the same content and better content but make very little money.  Doing all the things...Liking(thumbs up), commenting and watching video to the end is important.

Brenda goes out of her way to make sure she has content for everyone.  She pieces and quilts by machine as well as by hand.  In this Sunflower series she has provided a free downloadable, printable PDF with templates and  links to acrylic templates that can be purchased on Amazon.   Quilting is an expensive hobby.  Not everyone is in a position to buy all the fabric and tools.  Brenda helps all who want to learn, not just those with money.   So a big thank you to Brenda for going the extra mile to provide good videos for everyone in the quilting community!  And for inspiring me to learn hand piecing and hand quilting without a hoop.

The hand quilting without a hoop video can be found by clicking here.  Hop over and give Brenda a little quitly love!  Oh I almost forgot to tell you to check out her Churn Dash series, so much scrappy goodness!

Until next time.....

I hope you find time to stitch up something sweet!

I love ya!

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