Monday, September 26, 2011

Spring or Fall??

If I could find the battery charger for camera, I'd actually have some pictures to show (for a change!).  I've managed to get 3 quilts quilted and have some ideas in mind for starting a couple quilts.  Anyway....
I've been reading some blogs and it seems that fall/autumn is starting to show itself in many parts of the U.S.   I'm reading about all the activity and it made me wonder about something..... I'm a fall cleaner.  I want my house all cleaned up before I close it up for the winter for months.  Fortunately, here in AZ there will be days that I'll be able to have the house opened during the winter.  And come spring, I'm ready to get out and dig in the dirt, ride my quad (well, I do that during the winter too!) and just enjoy life.  So how about you?  Do you Spring Clean or Fall Clean or just lucky enough to stay on top of it all during the year? 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fall in the air

Even here in AZ where Phoenix is still experiencing triple digit temps, it feels like fall.  I don't live in the Phoenix area  (thank goodness!) so we're having high 80's and it's wonderful.  I'm looking at making soup and bread and baking with fresh apples.  This obviously is my favorite time of year and my brain seems to be going 100 different directions.  I think of what I'd like to do in the kitchen - oh, wait! what I'd like to make in fall prints in the sewing room - oh, wait! I saw something that would make a great little stocking stuffer - oh, wait!  wouldn't the G-kids love to make that?!  Okay..... I think you get the idea - I need to get cloned so I can get me out there to get all those things done I'd like to do!  So what to do today?  I think I'll start a pot of soup, I'll make up some bread and I'll go sew something fallish :-) 
Have a great day!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

cost of making a quilt

I recently received an email asking me the approximate cost of a quilt.  Well, naturally it depends on the size of the quilt, the cost of fabrics used in the quilt, the type/cost of batting used.  Also, a determining factor is whether a person quilts their own quilts or send them out – that's a whole other question!  Anyway, thought I'd share my thoughts/ experiences with you and I would love to hear other's input on this topic! 
The average size quilt that I personally make is at least 70 X 80” .  I consider this a good 'personal' size quilt.  So to estimate the cost of fabric, figure the square inches of the quilt – top, backing and binding!
70” X 80” = 5600”  X 2 = 11200”  (remember the backing!)  now to figure approximate yardage, divide the 11200” by 1296 (square inches of a yard) =  8.65.  So rounded up to 9 yards of  fabric used and we all know that we use more when figuring in seam allowances and trimming AND if you piece your backing - (remember this is very approximate!)  So figure how much you pay per yard for your fabric.  I'm going to figure low and say I've used a coupon for my fabric at JoAnns or Hancock and figure $5.50 a yard X 9 = $49.50 for fabric.  Well, lets add in a half yard for binding and you're at $52.25 (without tax and/or shipping if you use mail order). NOTE: double this figure if you're buying your fabric at full price at a quilt shop!   Batting:  your batting again will depend on the brand and kind you use.  I believe the most common batting used is Warm & White / Natural.  I buy mine by the yard and at JoAnn's without a coupon is about $12.00 a yard for 90” wide.  Again, I try to buy my batting using a coupon so 40% off and I will pay $7.20 a yard.  Now I would use the width of batting for length but I will still need 2 yards of batting so I'm at $14.40 in batting (again no tax or shipping figured in) .  I'm at $52.25 for fabric and $14.40 in batting for a total of $66.65.  This does not include threads for piecing or quilting.  This does not include your time,  and -  people – if you're making a quilt for profit – PROFIT!  Charge for your time!  So here's a formula to use for your approximate cost of a quilt:
  Square inches of finished quilt size X 2 (because of backing) divide by 1296 (square inches in yard), add a half yard for binding.  Multiply that number by your average cost per yard of fabric and you'll have a very approximate cost for your fabrics.  Figure the cost of your batting, whether you buy the prepackage/cut or buy by the yard.  You can add your local tax rate to get even a clearer idea of those costs.  And always, figure your approximate time to construct the quilt!
Okay, so this is a very low and rough estimate for a quilt that measures approximately 70” X 80”.  I figured 9 yards of fabric but, again, I know I'd be probably be using/buying more.  Batting you always cut larger than the size of the top and if quilting on a longarm setup, it's even a bit more.
How about you?  How would you figure the cost of a quilt? 

Monday, September 12, 2011

You know you're in trouble.....

Oh, Oh....You know you're in trouble when football season starts and you're the first to turn on the game!  I felt like I was getting my mojo back - truly!  It was a beautiful cool(er) morning here in AZ and DH and I decided to take the ATV's for a morning ride.  The desert is beautiful after all our rain.  Got home and chose a few designs to stitch out to make  a fall themed table topper for the dining table.  Oh, Wait!  It's Sunday!  Opening weekend for pro football..... But will the games start this early - Oh Yeah!!!!  So guess who didn't make it to the sewing room???  So, let's see what should I do?  I could start knitting again on those days that I'm hanging out in front of the TV... I could move the sewing cabinet that holds the older Kenmore where I can see the TV.... I could maybe buy another TV and put it in the sewing room, that means putting money out for the TV and having the satellite company come and redo all the cables plus the expense of adding for multiple TV's to the satellite bill... okay, talked myself out of an additional TV.  I suppose I could knit and sew as the mood hit.  Yep, think I may be moving the sewing cabinet :-) 


Saturday, September 10, 2011

No Sewing

Another week without sewing!  Seriously?!  And I can't even tell you what I really did this week.  I feel like I've been running in circles. yet when I look around I can't even see my foot prints!  Hubby has gone to Phoenix for the day so maybe if I get my butt in gear, get my housework done, it'll still be early enough for me to accomplish something. 
Hope everyone's having better creative days than me,


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Longer than expected!

I'll start with pictures seeing as how I haven't posted many lately...  This quilt was made by Phyllis L. from PA, quilted by me and donated for a raffle to raise money for Paws for Patriots, which is an organization dedicated to getting service dogs to the troops/veterans who need them.
A little bit of a close up.  I love the print of the squares and I really like the patriotic theme that is not a red, white, blue.  Phyllis did a great job on this quilt and I was honored to be able to quilt it.

This is the "Smart Bag" that I made for my friend.  The 'cuff' folds over to hide the top of the cover.  The entire bag was made of synthetic leather, very soft and could be used without the cover.
the inside of the bag - a lot of pockets.  What I did forget to do was add a snap closure before adding the cuff - but my friend loved the bag and that's all that's important.

The tile work is finished, the rooms put back together and it took so much longer than I expected.  I think DH and I did a nice job and discovered that we really don't work well together after 4 days!  Too much togetherness isn't always a good thing :-) 
I still have neglected my sewing machines and today I hope to rectify that!  While having the kitchen and dining rooms tore up, a friend brought over some curtains and asked if I could get them hemmed.  He's bought a small place in northern AZ to have as a 'summer home' and the curtains must have been put up to refresh the place for sale as they are about 10" too long.  So as long as he didn't need them right away, I told him I would do that for him.
After finishing the tile work, spent an evening with my son and family having a catfish fry.  Time spent with family is always the best!  The following day  I spent with my 16 yr old granddaughter and instead of sewing together, we went out on the ATV and picked Prickly Pears.  Came home and made Prickly Pear jelly.  My family loves this stuff!  Yesterday after getting things truly cleaned up and put back in some sort of order, I had a visit from DIL and g-kids.  They were off for Labor Day and wanted to spend some time with Grandma - I'll take anytime I can get!  Grandson's and I have a date in a couple weeks and we'll go Prickly Pear picking and do some jelly making :-)  That's always a treat, too.
So, I believe that brings me up to date at this point.  Time to get some breakfast and get some curtains hemmed and I have about 9 or 10 quilts that need quilting -  need to work on those as well.  Then..... the Christmas sewing begins!!! I already have a few projects in mind..... so maybe I'm getting my mojo back - I sure hope so!