April 15, 2010

i {heart} burgundy buttons

Aside from loving crafts, I really love craft supplies. Because I am afflicted with the *need* to purchase every imaginable gadget for my crafts of preference, it's really important that I get my supplies at the best price possible.

My latest craft obsession (yes, obsession) is quilting. With that, came the need for all sorts of new tools and gadgets and lots and lots of fabric. The first project I planned was a lovely table runner that would require a charm pack from the Verna by Kate Spain collection for Moda Fabrics.

In my quest to find something locally, I stumbled across Burgundy Buttons. The owner, Leah, lives and works in my neck of the woods. As an Internet merchant myself, I wanted to support her business. At the time, I was so new to things, I didnt' realize just what a great deal her prices are. That is no longer the case. Her prices are without a doubt, the lowest I've found and her level of service is outstanding.

If you haven't experienced Burgundy Buttons for yourself, you really should check it out. Be sure to head over to her blog as well because she is hosting an incredible giveaway and offering a great sale on her already unbeatable prices.

April 13, 2010

verna's cutting garden: complete

This particular project was the catalyst.

It drove me over the edge in more ways than one.

I spent a fun day at Royce's house several weeks ago. Up to that point, quilting had always been one of those things I wanted to try, but hadn't taken the plunge. After a few hours of looking at her stash of fabrics and leafing through some quilting magazines, I was becoming more and more interested.

Then, she introduced me to the Moda Bake Shop. Be still my heart. Lots of cute projects that were super easy. I was immediately drawn to the Verna's Cutting Garden table runner. With Mother's Day approaching I thought this would be a nice project. From that moment I have gone crazy buying supplies and lots and lots of beautiful fabrics.

Last night and several nervous breakdowns later, I finished it. I had purposely waited a few weeks to quilt this until my extension table arrived and I'm glad I did. Although there were many many mistakes made throughout the process, I love this and I look forward to seeing it grace my Mother's table for many, many years.

April 06, 2010

Tools of the Trade: Accuquilt Go!

This post is the first in a new series I have entitled Tools of the Trade. My initial thought was to keep this series quilting related. Since I have such a broad spectrum of interests in the crafting world, I will be highlighting my favorite tools regardless of craft. I hope that regardless of your level of skill that you will find the information informative. Please share your comments - we can all learn from each other!No matter what your craft of preference, it is my firm belief that if you are going to participate, it is important to have the right tools. For this first post, I will be highlighting the Accuquilt Go! Fabric Cutter. I have no doubt there are experienced quilters who may question why I would choose to blog about this first as opposed to a basic supply like the rotary cutter... you may be one of them. So please stick around, grab your favorite beverage and read on.

In my opinion, accurate cutting is to quilting, what good footers and a foundation are to home building. If you don't get it just right, it will be hard on the pocketbook and hard on your emotional well-being.

Soon after I fell prey to the lure of quilting, I realized that all. that. cutting. was going to be an issue for me. Even though I am fairly accurate, the idea of spending immense amounts of time cutting fabric was not appealing. I am impatient. I want to get to the fun part faster! I have enjoyed the ease of die-cutting in the world of paper crafts for several years, so I really hoped there was an equally brilliant product made especially for fabrics.

While the price tag for the machine is high (MSRP is $349), I instantly felt that it would be a wise investment. Never one to pay full retail price, I searched the Internet until I found a retailer who has figured out a way to offer this item and the dies & accessories for a much lower price. It also helps to have a quilting buddy to share with. My friend Royce has purchased some dies and so have I. We share them and that eases the strain on the crafting budget.

I recently designed a custom quilt for my mother in law, the center panel is comprised of 5" charm squares. I literally cut all of the squares for this quilt in less than 10 minutes. With the strip dies, I can cut my binding strips for the entire quilt in about 2 minutes... and they are perfectly straight!

The Go! cutter won't eliminate the need for other cutting tools, but it does lessen the number of manual cuts significantly. The accuracy and time savings are what keeps me going back to this tool time and time again, and why I believe this is a tool every quilter (or quilting group) should have in their tool bag.

Edited to add: I have recently joined forces with a group of accuquilt bloggers organized by SewCalGal. By following this link, you will have access to dozens of other blog posts related to the Accuquilt Go! Cutting System.