Working with 3 Yard fabric Bundles

I attended the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival a month ago. The shopportunity in the vendor hall was nothing short of amazing after 15 months of COVID lockdowns. Most every booth I visited seemed to have the turquoise Perfect Scissors by Karen K. Buckley, precut kits and the 3 yard quilt series books from Fabric Cafe, with assorted fabric bundles available for purchase.

The Fabric Cafe books are extremely versatile. I use them for teaching classes and making personal projects. In fact, I’m working on a baby quilt right now – Dominique from Modern Views from 3 Yard Quilts. I’d like to share 5 tips for working with this pattern:

  1. Buy 1-1/4 yards of each fabric, especially if you prewash.
  2. All over prints are your best bet. I used a directional print for Fabric #1. You can make it work, but it does require extra planning and revising some of the sewing instructions.
  3. Read the instructions at least TWICE before you cut into any fabric.
  4. Cut the larger sections first, then go back and subcut. LABEL the pieces.
  5. For the flowers, take note of the placement of the Fabric #1 and Fabric #2 within the pieced units. If you use directional fabric like I did for Fabric #1, know that half of the units will need to be “redone” so that Fabric #1 is pointing in the correct direction.

Bonus tip: Use the same sewing machine to construct the inner portions of the quilt. It will be easier to match up the 1/4″ seams.

another atlanta quilt shop closes

Within the past year, four Atlanta area quilt shops have announced closures. Only one was due to business being affected by COVID-19. One closure was due to health concerns and the other two due to the owner’s retirement. I understand one of the “retirement” shops has a potential buyer. Hopefully, we’ll know more soon. It’ll be interesting to see if we even have enough shops left to hold The Atlanta Quilt Shop Hop in 2022.

Only one shop in the area, Tiny Stitches in Marietta, is back to business as usual, 7 days a week. The remaining shops are open 2-4 days per week with limited hours. Stitch ‘N Quilt – long considered my “home” quilt shop where I taught kids & adult classes for 5 years – now closes at 3 p.m. No more stopping by on the way home from work! Now I’m basically limited to shopping at my LQS on the weekends. Part of summer break has been spent taking day trips to various shops in the North Georgia mountains to get a feel for each particular shop’s vibe. Along the way, I noticed a number of sewing machine dealers now stocking lines of quilting fabric and notions. It simply gives shoppers more options.

For me, where I shop depends on what I need and how fast I need it.
Weekdays: Hobby Lobby & Ashby Sewing
Saturdays: Stitch N Quilt, The Cotton Farm, Pickens County Mercantile & Quilt Shop, Atlanta Sewing Center (Duluth location)
Sundays: Tiny Stitches & Joann

I also dusted off my wholesale credentials and established accounts with certain suppliers. When I made t-shirt quilts, buying supplies wholesale made a noticeable difference in my profit margins. Now that I am regularly making project samples (and selling them) plus providing project kits for students, it was time to look at wholesale again. Saving money and time by having the essentials on-hand means I have more funds available to spend at my LQS and more time to create.

Personal observations

The last full week of summer break prior to reporting back for Teacher Pre-Planning is always bittersweet. You have big plans for the summer, yet the reality is you need the full month of June to simply decompress, perhaps fitting in a couple of vacation trips if you’re lucky. Mild panic starts to set as July rolls around. After the July 4th holiday, you realize you only have 3 weeks to get everything done before the time suck known as “the new school year” gets underway. This year is no different, yet COVID has definitely shaped my mindset about returning to 5 days per week at full throttle like we had pre-COVID.

N-O-P-E. Not gonna happen. I’m keeping my distance, cleaning like crazy, and leaving on time every day. I plan to be highly selective when it comes to extra duties & responsibilities. My physical, mental and emotional health depend on it.

10 things I’ve realized over the past year:

  1. I need 7 hours of sleep every night.
  2. I feel better when I walk 30 minutes every day.
  3. I feel better when I eat real food and limit fast food.
  4. It’s worth the extra WW points for real string cheese and the occasional potato chips with my sandwich.
  5. Water and unsweet tea are my BFFs – not diet soda.
  6. A soak in the tub makes everything better.
  7. A sewing machine and supplies are essential to my well-being.
  8. A social network outside of work and family is VERY important.
  9. Turn off the computer and TV. Read a book or magazine instead.
  10. My day job is just that – a job. I love what I do, but it is too easy to get sucked into the “perfect teacher” rabbit hole. I have to remove any emotional attachment to the job and remind myself to view it as a business transaction. I am exchanging my time for money. My employer certainly deserves full value for the time they purchase, but no more of this being guilted into working after hours for free. Easier said than done, yes, but I have to try.

My last week of summer break will be spent sewing with a friend, getting my teeth cleaned, getting my back-to-school haircut & color, a bit of clothes shopping and a quick day trip to cross-off the last item on my summer bucket list.

%d bloggers like this: