• fabric_thumb1.jpg

    How to Get Started Quilting Part 3 – Let’s Talk Fabric!

    Good morning! I hope you’ve enjoyed my How To Quilt series! I hope these posts have been helpful for you. Today I’m so excited to share the final part in my series, fabric. I’ve also added a section at the end of this post full of helpful links, websites, tutorials and more to help you get going! … [Read More...]

  • amyseminar_042215.jpg

    FREE Parenting Webinar–TONIGHT!!

    Hi everyone! Join Amy McCready and I for a FREE LIVE parenting webinar TONIGHT Wednesday, April 22 at 9:00 PM, EST.   For those of you who don’t know, Amy is author of the awesome website, Positive Parenting Solutions, where she shares all kinds of great tips and tricks for parents! She … [Read More...]

  • littlebits6.jpg

    Little Bits Review & Giveaway

    Have you guys heard of Little Bits Electronics? Well, they were new to me! But when they sent me an email to review their products, I was intrigued. I already knew that Turbo loved to play with anything electronic, and after taking a look at their website, I knew he’d love to check them out! … [Read More...]

  • howtoquilt3_thumb.jpg

    How to Get Started Quilting Part 2 – Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

    Last week I shared How to Get Started Quilting Part 1 with you. The post got rather long, and so I decided to split it up into 3 parts.  Part 1 is your basic supply list, part 2 is going to be about sewing machines. Then next week part 3 is where it gets fun. We’ll take a look at fabric as well … [Read More...]

  • amyseminar_042215.jpg

    Positive Parenting With Amy McCready–Free Webinar!

    It’s been awhile since I’ve partnered with Amy McCready, and I wanted to do another seminar for all of my new readers! So next Wednesday night I’ll be joining her for another great FREE parenting webinar for you! Amy is founder of Positive Parenting Solutions & TODAY Show contributor. Together … [Read More...]

APR
22
2015

How to Get Started Quilting Part 3 – Let’s Talk Fabric!

fabric_thumb1.jpg

Good morning! I hope you’ve enjoyed my How To Quilt series! I hope these posts have been helpful for you. Today I’m so excited to share the final part in my series, fabric. I’ve also added a section at the end of this post full of helpful links, websites, tutorials and more to help you get going!

howtogetstartedquilting3

 

But first let’s talk about the fun stuff, fabric!

I warned you before that this was probably the most dangerous part of quilting. The fabric out there these days is to die for! And I’ve already gathered enough to keep me busy for the remainder of the year, possibly even next year. And it’s what, April? Yeah. Probably time to start sewing up my stash for sure!

fabric_thumb[1]

(Above pictured fabric is a mix of Bonnie and Camille for Moda lines)

I quickly discovered a very large variety of quilting fabrics available to have fun with! There are so many lovely patterns, colors, manufacturers, and designers that it was like eye-candy heaven! Instagram has been a huge source of inspiration as well as quilting ideas, so if you’re at all interested, I highly suggest that you get an Instagram account, and then do some searches. You’ll quickly discover that there is a huge commnity of amazing quilters on Instagram, and their feeds are full of inspiration, ideas, and just good old fashioned eye-candy! Here are my favorite hashtags to follow:

Once I had an idea of what fabrics I liked, and even some patterns I thought I’d like to try, I started looking for local quilt & fabric shops as well as online quilting shops. Here is a list of places that I like to buy fabric from to help you get started.

fabric2_thumb

 

Where to buy fabric:

  • Etsy is probably my favorite place to find fabric. Etsy stores tend to have fabrics that you won’t find in places like JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, and local quilt shops. It helps if you know what you’re looking for, but a simple search for fat quarter bundle, or Moda Fabric will yield a ton of results from etsy shops! StitchesNGiggles is a favorite shop of mine, with really low prices and very fast shipping!
  • Instagram. Yes, I said Instagram. I know it sounds crazy, but a lot of Etsy store owners and sewers like you and me post fabric for sale on Instagram. You can often find out of print fabrics, good deals, and hard to find fabrics by searching for the hashtag #thegreatfabricdestash. I just suggest you are careful when purchasing, take a look at the seller’s Instagram account to make sure that they are a legitimate person. I’ve never had any issues, but I usually make sure the seller has several posts, followers, and aren’t a brand new account with no posts. Sales on IG are usually done via PayPal an the seller should send you an INVOICE, not a request for money. The Invoice protects both parties in the transaction as an exchange of money for goods.
  • Local Quilt Shops. We have a few great local quilt shops in our area, and they’re fun to browse around. I will say prices there are a bit more than what you’ll find online, but it’s always nice to support local businesses.
  • Missouri Quilt Co. has daily fabric deals. and fun notions as well.
  • Fat Quarter Shop has great fabric, but her prices can be a little more than you’ll find in other online stores.
  • LadyBelleFabrics is another one of my favorites. She is on Instagram as well, and has awesome prices and super fast shipping too!

What size fabric do you buy when quilting, and what the heck is a precut?

When getting started quilting, I would suggest that you buy fabric one project at a time. Find a pattern you like, then gather fabrics based on the requirements for that project. You’ll soon develop a stash of left over fabrics, and scraps that you can use in later projects.

If I see a fabric that I love, but don’t have a project in mind for, I normally get a fat quarter  (18” x 22”) if it’s for a quilting project, or a 1/2 yard if I think I might want to make something else out of it. They’re fairly inexpensive cuts of fabric, and go a long way in quilting projects!

Precuts are fabric that are pre-cut to certain sizes to help make your process easier. Not only are they super cute, but they’re time savers too! Precuts are a bit more pricey than buying by the yard, but for quilting I find that they’re nice to have. 

Precut bundles typically include 1 piece from each pattern in a fabric line, so you get a nice variety of coordinating fabrics. Depending on the brand there will be anywhere from 18-42 pieces of fabric in a bundle.

howtoquilt12

Here’s a crash course on precuts:

  • Fat Quarter: Fat quarters are usually 18” x 22’’ fabric cuts.
  • Fat Eighth: These are half of a fat quarter, so they measure 9” x 22”.
  • Layer Cake: (a.k.a stackers) 10” x 10” square fabric cuts.
  • Charm Pack: 5” x 5” square fabric cuts.
  • Candy Packs: (a.k.a. mini-charms) 2.5” x 2.5” square fabric cuts.
  • Jelly Roll: 2.5” x approx. 42” strips. They are usually the length of the width of fabric (WOF).
  • Honey Bun: 1.5” x approx. 42” strips (WOF).
  • Dessert Rolls: 5” x approx. 42” strips (WOF).
  • Honeycombs: These are newer to the precut world and are 6” hexagon precut shapes.
  • Turnovers: These are triangle shaped precuts. Currently they come in 10” and 6.5” half square triangles.

Get Started Quilting Tutorials & Websites:

So how did I get started? Honestly I stumbled on a quilting video while searching for something on YouTube. I was caught up in how cute the quilts are now, so I started browsing around for more quilting videos. After watching several tutorials I thought “Hey! I can do that!” And decided to give it a try.

My first quilt was the Pink Pig Rag Quilt that I made for Tinker Bell. I wanted to start off with something easy, and honestly I think the rag quilt is the way to go. It’s nice and forgiving so if you don’t cut quite straight, or your seams are off a little, no one will really notice. It’s just a basic square patchwork quilt and is super easy to put together!

My best advice when you’re starting out is to surf around on YouTube and check out all of the quilting videos. They’re extremely helpful and take a lot of the scariness out of quilting! Here are some of my absolute favorite channels to get you started!

  • Missouri Star Quilt Co. Jenny Doan is one of my favorite teachers. She’s so cute and cheery, and she has a knack at making everything seem easy! They have an online shop as well.
  • The Fat Quarter Shop website has some great tutorials, and really fast and easy quilt ideas too! Kimberly also has an online shop as well. She also has a fun blog too!
  • Leah Day is one of my favorite free motion quilting instructors. Her videos are really easy to follow and she makes free motion quilting seem totally do-able! I have to say this intimidated me at first, but I’m having so much fun with it now!
  • Melanie Ham is also a favorite of mine. She has a ton of different DIY video tutorials on her channel, including beginner quilting tutorials. She does a great job explaining things to newbies, and I love her videos! Please make more Melanie!!
  • The Crafty Gemini is another great site. She has a variety of tutorials as well, including quilting videos. She has some really fun projects too, so make sure to check her out!
  • Craftsy is a great place to take online quilting classes from great instructors, as well as purchase fabric.

I’ve also check out some great quilting bloggers and books as well. Here are some of my favorites, but I’m more of a visual learner so I prefer watching how-to videos, but if you’re more of a reader I think you’ll find these resources helpful too.

  • Camille Roskelly has a great blog and instagram feed! She’s a fabric designer, quilt designer, and blogger. She has a ton of eye-candy/inspiration on her blog! Her newest book, Simply Retro, is one of my favorites.
  • Lori Holt is also another favorite of mine. She is also a fabric designer, quilter, and has tutorials on her site as well.
  • Amy Gibson has a great blog and is one of my favorite quilting instructors for Craftsy.
  • Quilt As You Go by Jera Branvig of Quilting in the Rain has a great blog, and a great book that teaches you how to quilt each block as you go, so that when you’re done with your quilt top, you’re actually done! It’s already quilted. I haven’t done one of these yet, but it’s on my to-do list.
  • Moda Bake Shop is one of my favorite places to go for inspiration! They name all of their precuts after baked goods, and share tons of free patterns to go with each type of precut!

Quilting Patterns:

There are many online videos and downloadable patterns for you to choose from when quilting. You can purchase patterns online, and often find free ones from your favorite quilting and blogging websites!

If you’re just getting started, I suggest downloading an easy/beginner level PDF pattern to get started. The patterns will tell you how much fabric you’ll need, and even suggest pre-cuts that work well with their patterns to help save time. I will say that the patterns made much more sense to me AFTER I watched several videos. They can be a bit intimidating if you don’t know the common quilting terms (see above). Or if you’re unsure of certain techniques.

I would highly recommend watching some of the above video suggestions before starting to help you understand the various techniques needed to begin.

Popular Quilting Terms:

When I first started, I felt like I was learning a new language! So I thought I’d leave you with some commonly used abbreviations that may help alleviate some confusion when getting started!

  • FQ = Fat Quarter
  • FMQ = Free motion quilting
  • HST = Half Square Triangle
  • WOF = Width of fabric
  • LQS = Local quilt shop
  • OOP = Out of print (Used to refer to older fabric lines that are no longer in print.)
  • BOM = Block of the month. These are usually clubs you join where you create a block each month, and end up with a finished quilt top at the end!
  • LAQ = Long Arm Quilter. Usually referring to the machine itself, or a person who quilts using a long arm machine.
  • WIP = Work in progress
  • UFO = Unfinished object

If you are inspired to create after reading this, make sure to post your pics and tag me on social media so I can see what you all create!

 

Now that I’ve probably overwhelmed you with information, head on over to my blog for some detailed posts on my quilt projects! You can also check out my sewing tutorials on my YouTube channel, and keep up with all of my crazy projects on my Instagram account! And as always you’re welcome to email me if you have any questions!

Happy Quilting!

APR
21
2015

FREE Parenting Webinar–TONIGHT!!

amyseminar_042215.jpg

Hi everyone! Join Amy McCready and I for a FREE LIVE parenting webinar TONIGHT Wednesday, April 22 at 9:00 PM, EST.   For those of you who don’t know, Amy is author of the awesome website, Positive Parenting Solutions, where she shares all kinds of great tips and tricks for parents! She is a regular on The Today Show and has appeared on Rachael Ray, CNN, MSNBC, in The New York Times and more.   What’s the Webinar About? Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling (And who couldn’t use some help in that area right!?) I’ve hosted this seminar before and had several requests to repeat it since many of you were unable to attend. And quite honestly, it’s a good refresher for me as well. Unfortunately i tend to drift back into our old habits, so I always enjoy a good kick start to get us back on track! Who Should Attend: Frustrated parents of kids ages 2-16! A special note from Amy: Why is it so difficult sometimes to get kids to listen? You know she … [Read more...]

APR
19
2015

Little Bits Review & Giveaway

littlebits6.jpg

Have you guys heard of Little Bits Electronics? Well, they were new to me! But when they sent me an email to review their products, I was intrigued. I already knew that Turbo loved to play with anything electronic, and after taking a look at their website, I knew he’d love to check them out!   And I was right. After stalking the mailman for what seemed like forever (really about 3-5 days), our package finally arrived! It took him all of about 1 second to tear into it, and start playing around.   Instantly he was lurking around asking people to shake his hand. I thought it was going to be a shocking experience, but actually it was just a harmless buzzer that caused a lot of giggles around here.   He then went back to work creating more projects with the fun manual. They sent us the deluxe kit, and there are about 15 projects in the manual, but there are hundreds more projects online on their website. One thing that are so cool about these kits is that they … [Read more...]

APR
15
2015

How to Get Started Quilting Part 2 – Best Sewing Machines for Beginners

howtoquilt3_thumb.jpg

Last week I shared How to Get Started Quilting Part 1 with you. The post got rather long, and so I decided to split it up into 3 parts.  Part 1 is your basic supply list, part 2 is going to be about sewing machines. Then next week part 3 is where it gets fun. We’ll take a look at fabric as well as online tutorials and inspiration!   So let’s review the basic supplies you’ll need that we talked about last week. 1. Cutting Mat 2. Clear Acrylic Ruler 3. Rotary Trimmer 4. Seam Ripper 5. Thread Today we’re going to discuss sewing machines as well as some online inspiration that helped me get going! It’s number 6 on my list, and it’s the sewing machine. Sewing machines For me this is indispensible! I know a lot of hand quilters out there, and God bless you all for your patience! Me, not so much. I find my sewing machine to be a sanity saver, plus I’m usually in a hurry and the thought of hand stitching an entire quilt gives me the heebee-jeebees! I recently purchased … [Read more...]

APR
14
2015

Positive Parenting With Amy McCready–Free Webinar!

amyseminar_042215.jpg

It’s been awhile since I’ve partnered with Amy McCready, and I wanted to do another seminar for all of my new readers! So next Wednesday night I’ll be joining her for another great FREE parenting webinar for you! Amy is founder of Positive Parenting Solutions & TODAY Show contributor. Together we will be hosting a FREE LIVE parenting webinar on Wednesday, April 22 at 9:00 PM, EST. For those of you who don’t know, Amy is author of the awesome website, Positive Parenting Solutions, where she shares all kinds of great tips and tricks for parents! She is a regular on The Today Show and has appeared on Rachael Ray, CNN, MSNBC, in The New York Times and more.     What’s the Webinar About? Get Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling (And who couldn’t use some help in that area right!?) I’ve hosted this seminar before and had several requests to repeat it since many of you were unable to attend. And quite honestly, it’s a good refresher for me as well. … [Read more...]

APR
13
2015

Kindergarten Daily Schedule

kinderdailyschedule.jpg

A few years ago I did a series of posts titled Daily Homeschool Schedule for you all. Since then I’ve had countless questions about our updated homeschool schedule, and specifically for my kindergartener since I didn’t do one at that time. You can see a basic overview of our daily schedule here. You’ve also been asking questions about how long we do each subject, how many days per week, and what our day looks like hour by hour for each grade level. So I thought maybe these posts would help out! So for the next few weeks I’m going to share our schedules in a more detail by each grade level so you can see what we’re up to. Today we’ll be taking a quick look at my kindergartener’s schedule. We do a co-op on Friday’s so her calendar has Friday’s blank.   Download a copy: Daily Schedule Kindergarten – PDF Daily Schedule Kindergarten – Word Doc (Editable) Here’s our Basic Kindergarten Schedule: 8:30am   – Breakfast / Family Devotion Time … [Read more...]

APR
12
2015

LEGO Education Simple Machines – Crane

legoant5.jpg

Good morning readers! We had another great LEGO Education group again this month! This time we worked on building and using cranes!     This month we created LEGO Ants which were probably one of the more enjoyable creations! Well, the most entertaining anyway! We had battles…and races…and fun!   I’ve had several questions about the LEGO Education Simple & Motorized Mechanisms, and I do have to say that we LOVE IT! The lessons are great, and it could definitely suffice as a portion of your science or robotics class for the year. There are about 34 lessons, so you could do one per week to make it last for the whole year. We’ve been using the kit for about 2 years now because we meet once a month for our co-op. But you could certainly do it more often if you wanted to! You do need to purchase the activity pack (lessons) separately from the base set if you want the curriculum to go with your base kit. They recommend 1 kit per two … [Read more...]

APR
08
2015

How To Get Started Quilting Part 1 – Basic Supplies

howtogetstartedquilting1.jpg

Good morning everyone! I’ve been so excited about how many of you are interested in quilting. I’m trying not to overwhelm my blog with pictures, so if you’re interested in keeping up with me make sure to follow me on Instagram. I’ve had a ton of questions asking how I got started quilting. And I want to say that I’m still new and learning, but I thought that might be a great time to tell you all how I started while it’s still fresh in my mind. I apologize, this post got a bit long, but I wanted to give you as much detail as I could to get you started! The second thing I wanted to tell you is that quilting is only as difficult as you make it. And YES! You can do it! I recommend starting off with easier patterns, then challenge yourself as your skills develop. But we’ll get into that later on. Let’s start off with supplies. I like supplies. Especially when they’re as pretty as these! Supplies: The supplies you’ll need to get started are actually pretty minimal. Here’s a list … [Read more...]

APR
07
2015

A Beka Book Reading Review – K5

abekareview2.jpg

Good morning everyone! Since we’ve completed my K4 Kindergarten program last year. However since the Teeny Tot isn’t old enough for first grade yet, I decided to do the ABeka K5 reading program with her this year for review, and to enhance her reading. Here are the products that I use, and what I think is necessary out of all of their options for kindergarten. I did want to mention that I’ve had these products since Strawberry Shortcake was in kindergarten. ABeka has since upgraded some of their items, and so they might look a bit different now. Just wanted to give you a heads up! Click the play button below, or click here to see my ABeka K5 Reading Review video: Here is a list of products that I recommend getting if you plan to use the K5 reading program. 198021 Homeschool K5 Phonics, Reading, Writing and Numbers Curriculum 99201 Letters and Sounds K5 101109 Basic Phonics Readers 182389 Basic Phonics Flashcards 102083 One-vowel word cards 102784 … [Read more...]

APR
06
2015

Blessing Bags

blessingbags.jpg

Good morning everyone! Are you looking for a great project to help teach your kiddos about having compassion for others? I have a great, and easy project that even  younger kids can participate in for you today. They’re called “Blessing Bags”.   Let’s take a look at a few definitions before we proceed shall we? Philanthropy: the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people. Compassion: wanting to help others who may be sick, hungry, or in need. Volunteer: a person who willingly gives their time and service to do work without pay. “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” ~ 1 John 3:17-18 Children by nature can be quite self-serving. At least mine tend to lean towards that direction. Like many things, kindness, compassion, and concern for others is a … [Read more...]