April 2008 Archives

The Fabric Maverick says... Take a break

April 29, 2008

I was rushing around this weekend doing errands when it suddenly occurred to me that I was a little like the hamster on a wheel in a cage. I was doing all of these "things" but ending in the same place. Sometimes life does rush at us and we must meet the demands the best way we can. April has been a busy time for all of us. We have had the opportunity to renew our relationship with the Federal government. Now I know why he is called "Uncle Sam"- he has what is left of my money! Raise your hand if you think there should be a tax deduction for the money you spend on automobile gas! The cheapest gas I could find yesterday was at $3.56 per gallon. I heard someone say that one reason prices were so high was to encourage people to not use as much gas. I do not know about you but I still have to drive to work everyday. My boss likes to see my smiling face everyday. I manage to work where there is no public transportation or I would use it. Now that I have vented, I feel better.

I took a little break this weekend to reflect on what is ahead for us. First, thank you to all the posse members; I have a special assignment coming up for you if you choose to accept it.  Be looking for an email shortly. Summer is coming. There is something about the word which already makes you feel relaxed. This is a time of new beginnings for many people.  Young people will be graduating from high school and colleges everywhere. People will be making a commitment to marriage. Mother's Day is around the corner.  Enjoy these celebrations! The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be in the moment. Do not let your mind be planning the next day's activities if you are at your child's softball game, be there not somewhere else. I know that on Thursday, Victoria will finally be sharing some information on her guest bedroom redo.  In the coming months, we will try to excite you with some easy projects that will fit into your summer time schedule. Take a break now. Kick back with your feet up and enjoy a magazine. There is no need for guilt- Enjoy!

Customer concerns about washing fabric- To wash or not to wash is the question.

April 22, 2008

The Fabric Maverick is taking a break today. She is working on something for her posse. Customer Service does a great job of fielding questions about fabric problems.  Every once in a while they request assistance on a question.  The Fabric Maverick is not the only person who can answer these issues.

The customer has this question: I have a quilt I bought with beautiful colors of red, green and white. I have washed the quilt and the reds have bled into the white.  What can I do?

I wished the lady had asked before she washed the quilt.  At this point, I know of nothing that will remove the red dye from the white.  I have heard from several customers that Carbona Dye Magnets are great in grabbing the dye and not depositing in onto lighter colored fabrics. This will prevent any further dye bleeding.

Back to the beginning...If you have a quilt that you did not receive washing instructions for you want to check for color fastness..  A quick way is to take a wet white cloth or paper towel and rub it across the surface of the fabric. If color comes off, it has the potential of bleeding.  You may need to dry clean.

Quilting fabrics that have vivid colors such as reds and purples should be tested for dye fastness. Here are the steps to performing a "Bleed Test"

  1. Cut a small piece of the fabric and submerge in soapy water. Water should be the same temperature as you will normally wash fabric.
  2. The fabric should sit submerged for 30 minutes.  If dye has discolored the water, then there is a potential to damage other fabrics.
  3. If the water is clear, then try one more test to make sure the color will not transfer to other fabric.  Remove fabric from soapy water. Do not rinse.  Lay the fabric on a white paper towel. Wait for a while and check to see if any dye has transferred to the paper towel. If it has, then there is a chance the dye will transfer to other fabrics.
  4. Rinse out the fabric and let it dry. If it bled the first, perform the test again and see if it bleeds again. If it does, it is not a good candidate for a quilt.

You may have your heart set on using this fabric. You can try soaking the fabric in white vinegar or purchase a commercial dye fixative. Then perform the bleed test again. This may sound like a lot of work, but what is more heartbreaking than making a quilt and have the fabric bleed onto the other fabrics.

General rules of fabric preparation for all fabrics:

1. If you want to wash a fabric and it says dry clean, always test a sample to see how the fabric reacts. Does the fabric shrink? Does the color fade? Is the finish changed? Then you should have the fabric dry cleaned.

2. Do not wash a whole 10 yards of fabric to find that you cannot wash it- test a sample.

3. Do not apply laundry detergent directly to fabric. This may cause fabric to discolor. Detergent should be mixed with water before the fabric is added.  This also applies to clothes.

4. Do not use a fabric softener sheet in the dryer with the fabric. Fabric softener sheets may deposit spots on the fabric because they are usually petroleum based.

5. Do not assume because a fabric is 100% cotton that it is washable.  Finishes have been applied to Home Decor fabrics to give them that nice finish.

I hope that these tips will prevent any unhappy surprises in your sewing.

Now, don't you think I did as well as the Fabric Maverick?

The Fabric Maverick says... Thank you!

April 15, 2008

My mother raised me to write Thank You notes when I received presents. The Post Office would probably appreciate the business but I would never be able to finish in a timely manner.  I hope everyone enjoyed the first Fabric Maverick sale. I see that we have sold out of many fabrics.  I had my eye on some of them, but I did not move fast enough. Thank you all for making this a huge success.

 Over 50 intrepid sewers have volunteered to join my posse! Beat that Mark Lipinski! To these brave souls, I say thanks.  I will be contacting you within the next two weeks. If you would like, you may repeat the oath now. Raise your right hand and place your left hand on your stash. Now repeat after me:

1. I will learn a new sewing technique this year.

2. I will use a color I have never used before.

3. I will try new products and give the Fabric Maverick an honest opinion.

4. I will use up part of my stash so I have room for more.

5.  I will pass on new ideas to the Fabric Maverick so she can stay on top of her game.

I am looking forward to meeting each of you and hearing your ideas. Be in touch soon.



The Fabric Maverick says .... Take a quiz!

April 10, 2008

Victoria has refused to write today. She says she needs sewing time. If you have not noticed, there is a sale in my honor today.  Finally, a little respect.  I have found a quiz that will help you determine your decorating style. Join in the fun! 

Take A Decorating Style Quiz

Determining your home decorating style may not be as hard as you think. The trick is actually looking beyond your home decor and into your lifestyle. What you find may surprise you, whether your style leans toward country decorating, contemporary or another style of decorating altogether.

Your clothes, car and - yes, even what you eat - can all be traced back to one thing: your sense of style. We've compiled a few simple (and rather fun) questions to help you zero in on your decorative style. Just choose the answers that relate to you most and then see below to find out which decorating style fits you best. While the answers are just for fun, you may discover a little more about yourself!

Q: Which of the following would you label your dream car?
  1. A sleek sports car equipped with all the latest, flashy features - and it's got to be trendy!
  2. A pickup truck that's as stylish as it is functional.
  3. A mid-sized SUV that's cleverly styled to suit both car lovers and sports enthusiasts.
  4. A classic car that represents history and offers a sense of formality.
  5. A vehicle that helps you enjoy a weekend drive with the wind in your hair.
Q: Which of these meals are you most likely to prepare?
  1. A tofu stir-fry with a Cajun kick - you like to entertain with exciting dishes.
  2. Homemade pot roast and potatoes that give you a warm feeling.
  3. A sampler platter - you enjoy taste testing a variety of foods.
  4. Turkey with all the dressings - the perfect chance to use the formal dining room.
  5. Finger sandwiches with no fuss, no muss.
Q: On a typical workday, which of these outfits would you most likely be seen wearing?
  1. Black dress pants or slacks with a bold striped button shirt.
  2. A pair of jeans to match a favorite comfy sweater.
  3. A stylish outfit with a mix of patterns and colors to represent your individualistic style.
  4. A formal dress or pant suit because you always dress for success.
  5. A comfortable pair of khakis, a denim jacket and your signature leather sandals.
Q: If you could choose your favorite lighting fixture, what would it look like?
  1. A clean and crisp wall sconce.
  2. You prefer the light from your fireplace for that cozy ambiance.
  3. A Tiffany-style art glass table lamp that showcases brilliant colors and a unique style.
  4. A grandiose chandelier that welcomes guests into the foyer.
  5. A natural style ceiling fixture that features material such as bamboo.
Q: Your dream house is:
  1. A stunning home with large windows and clean lines that overlooks water.
  2. A remodeled farm house with plenty of space for friends and family.
  3. A stylish condo in a hip metropolitan neighborhood.
  4. Only a spacious modern-day castle will do.
  5. A rustic log cabin surrounded by nature.

Now the results!

If you chose:

 Mostly 1's: You are a contemporary decorator. You favor sleek, streamlined designs and form that follows function. Your living room tends to have leather furniture and your home decor often features metal and glass with minimalist details.

 Mostly 2's: You are a country decorator. Floral prints and comfy sofas with ruffled skirts may adorn your home. You enjoy heart-warming coziness that you get from your fireplace. Unpretentious is your motto.

 Mostly 3's: You are an eclectic decorator. You're not afraid to mix up your home decor by crossing different periods and styles. Furniture with textured fabrics linked only by color may be sprinkled throughout your home. You like home decor that represents your individualistic side.

 Mostly 4's: You are known as the traditional decorator. The moment guests step into your home they are imbued with a sense of history. Formal, symmetrical and graceful sums up your home decor.

 Mostly 5's: You are a casual decorator. You live only by three words: relaxed, informal and comfortable. Neutral, earthy tones placate every room. You enjoy home decor that pays tribute to nature and textured fabrics.

I took the quiz!  How did yours turn out?


For more information, check out Home Decor.



The Fabric Mavericks says... Have a sewing party!

April 8, 2008

Spring is wrestling with winter to take over. There will be several days of cold followed by days in the 70's. Of course in the South, a sure sign of spring is yellow snow. Yellow snow is the term for a shower of yellow pollen which will coat everything for the next several weeks. Spring brings with it a desire to refresh our homes. Victoria has already begun a redo of a guest bedroom. It would be so much easier if she held a sewing party. You ask what is a sewing party.

A sewing party is a group of friends getting together on a Saturday or Sunday.  They will bring their sewing machines and projects to one person's home. If Victoria would have a party at her house, I believe she could get all of her projects done in record time. The sewing party is reminiscent of the quilting bee of yester year.  The last party I went to we each had our own project to work on, but in the end we seemed to end up stuffing gum drop pillows. Remember gum drop pillows? Finishing a project together is one of the benefits. Another benefit is joining with friends to share a good lunch and catch up on what is going on in each others lives. This is a great time to laugh.  Too often we are rushing around trying to complete our chores and to-do lists.  How many of you start a week wondering where the weekend went to? Take one weekend and host a sewing party.  See how you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated at the end of the day.   Start planning your party today! Maybe you can get your projects done. I'll even start you off with a recipe.


Quiche Provencal 6 servings

Quiche Provencal

things you'll need

  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell*
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup sliced zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups skim or low-fat milk

getting started

  1. In large omelet pan or skillet over medium heat, cook onion and green pepper in oil until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, zucchini and seasonings.
  3. Cook uncovered an additional 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain well. Set aside.
  4. Beat together eggs and milk until well blended.
  5. Pour into pie shell.
  6. Spoon in reserved drained vegetable mixture.
  7. Bake in preheated 375° F oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes.
  8. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

*To bake pie shell:

  1. Line unbaked pie shell with 12-inch square of aluminum foil.
  2. Fill with rice or dried beans or peas.
  3. Cover rim of shell with edges of foil.
  4. Bake in preheated 450° F oven until lightly browned at edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Lift out foil and rice.
  6. Cool on wire rack.

Note: If you use a frozen pie shell, it must be deep-dish style.



What comes first the fabric or the paint?

April 3, 2008

The answer to this question is simple- Neither! How do you go about planning a project? First you determine the size of your project. Next you determine your budget.  Then you go back and trim your project. I know that I have three rooms I need to revamp:

  • a guest bedroom
  •  my daughter's room ( she moved out)
  • the living room is in desperate need of refreshing

Unfortunately my budget will not fit all three rooms.  In fact, each room will need to be done in stages; I am going to start with the guest bedroom.  The reason is that I have already painted that room an apple green color that is so popular now. I would advise most customers to pick the fabric first then paint. This is a case of do as I say not as I do.

The first step after figuring your budget and projects is to read a magazine. I love to leaf through magazines and cut out pictures of rooms I want to recreate.  I may only like a pillow or a window treatment, but I cut it out. For instance, I fell in love with the guest bedroom in the HGTV dream home giveaway in Key West.  The walls were painted an apple green with the primary colors being black and white with accents of hot pink. This is a great look!  At first, I was going to duplicate this look with minor changes. At the same time, Fabric.com was having a fabulous sale on Waverly fabrics. Being that my budget is extremely tight, it was worth a close look.  I found some fabric that would work with the paint color at a price I could not say no to. It was the Waverly Deco Dots in white and in pink.  I found a lovely plaid to coordinate. There are three projects I want to complete in this room:

  1. New curtains
  2. A new bedskirt
  3. A new duvet with pillow shams


I looked in Donna Babylon's "More Splash Than Cash" Window Treatments book  to estimate the yardage for curtains. I measured my bed and the drop from the mattress to the floor to estimate the yardage for the bed skirt.  I ordered 10% more, it is always better to order more.  Too many times I have ordered to discover I have estimated too little and the fabric was no longer available. 

So far:

  1. Pick a room and decide what you would like to do in the room.
  2. Decide on a budget.
  3. Trim your projects if they will not fit into the budget or break into doable stages.
  4. Determine the yardage required and select a fabric.
  5. Pick a paint to coordinate if the room needs to be painted.
  6. Create a work plan or time line of projects to be completed.
  7. When projects are completed, accessorize for that final wonderful look that has been in your mind

Over the next few months, I will show you what I have done with that apple green bedroom.  You may like it or hate it but it will have the stamp of my personality on it. The first project will be a bedskirt. Stay tuned.

The Fabric Maverick says... All vacations are not Disney or golfing trips!

April 1, 2008

I can tell you people who have a passion for sewing are not the stereotypical little old lady who has nothing else to do with her time. Most of us have full time demanding jobs.  I know a CFO whose secret passion is memory quilts. When she is not balancing the books, she is creating a photo quilt. All of us secretly pray for the time to indulge our passions full time. What is more natural than wanting to plan our vacations around those hobbies? Some smart person in the travel industry recognized that there was a need for this type of vacation. Now there is a burgeoning industry to make your dream trip become a reality. Get ready to pack your bag, dust off your passport and let me show you where to go!

A company called Traveling Together has several tours planned. Traveling Together covers the gamut of needleworks. If you knit, quilt, cross-stitch, etc., they have a trip for you. Here are a few:

  • Travel to Hungary (Sept.24-Oct.4, 2008) There are long lists of activities including wine tasting.
  • Travel to England (Oct.8 -Oct. 16, 2008) This trip is targeted towards knitters,embroiderers and cross-stitchers.
  • Travel to Hawaii (Feb.12-Feb.22, 2009) This trip features touring with Kaffe Fassett and Brian Mabry.

Both McCall's Quilting and Fons and Porter "For the Love of Quilting" sponsor trips abroad. Fons and Porter schedule a trip every year to Provence.  I am ready if they need someone to provide a review on traveling to France. No one has asked yet, but I am a patient woman.  McCall's Quilting has two trips scheduled. One trip is to New Zealand.  The second trip is to China.  This is scheduled for Nov. 10-Nov.23. 2008.

If a cruise is more your style, check out the great cruises at Quilt Cruises.com. There are cruises to Alaska, Scandinavia and Russia, even the Panama Canal and Costa Rica.  All of these cruises have expert quilting teachers and lecturers from Alex Anderson to Jane Sassman.

If you want something closer to home, plan a retreat. There is one scheduled in Montana with Sandy Bonsib and Harriet Hargrave. There is even a retreat for you and your husband at the Oasis Resort. You can attend classes while he fishes in the Deschutes River in Oregon.

 This is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are trips to anywhere that you want to go. Excuse me, I just saw a trip to Italy I want to check out!  Ciao!


The Fabric Maverick


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This page is an archive of entries from April 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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