May-June Giveaway Candidate 1 "Whimbrella"

I Feature who like to sew, quilt between May 15-June 15. I asked them some questions especially sewing, organazing their work spaces. Who get more comments by June 15 will won a Emery Pincushion from my store . If you like to join please send me an e-mail to

CANDIDATE 1 : "Whimbrella"
I can't remember a time when I didn't love color and texture or carry around inside me a NEED to create. I was raised by a woman who worked miracles with a sewing machine. I watched her make her own hand-beaded ball gowns and singlehandedly and annually completely change the house decor, room by room. I learned to appreciate the mysteries of the fabric store while watching my mother decide between brocades, chiffons, and countless other exotic materials. Like many young girls, I was allowed to use the scraps to make doll clothes. I didn't much care for dolls, but I enjoyed making the clothes. Go figure.

Now my mother and I share a love of quilting, which is fun. When she isn't busy working on another quilt for one of her grandchildren or the next family reunion, I am occassionally lucky enough to be able to list a quilt by and for my mother, also known to everyone as "Miss Ann." She and I keep trading a tub of fabric back and forth between Dallas and Houston.

I have been accumulating fabric since my teenage years and have been fortunate enough to be the recipient of various relative's fabric collections when they couldn't or didn't want to sew anymore. I have a vast "collection" of vintage fabric and notions from the 1930/40s on. I continually look for unusual fabrics to add to my "stash." Since I travel frequently, I am often able to find hidden treasures in out of the way places. Last year I visited some authentic Amish fabric stores in Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania. I also regularly visit some favorite shops all across Texas and of course, the World of Fabric comes to my doorstep each fall to the International Quilt Market and Festival. I brought home fabulous fabric from France, England, Australia and Africa from the last Quilt Show. It's so much fun!

1.Where do you sew?

I have a large room in my home devoted to my sewing. I also have another room completed taken over with fabric and supplies.

2.How do you organize your materials? Is there any tip that you would like to share with us?

I organize my fabric by colors of course! I also sub-organize by fabric types - designers - project - purpose.

I have a sweet group of Japanese fabrics kept together just because they’re so cute to look at -- high eye candy factor! I keep all the batiks together, though they’re becoming a bit unruly and will most like have to be disciplined soon into color families. This is what happened with my Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler fabrics. I have fabrics purchased for a particular quilt kept together because I don’t want to accidentally cut into them for something else.

I have most of my fabrics folded on shelves or stored on bolts. When a fabric store went out of business last year, I purchased a display rack for bolts and a pattern filing cabinet. I have a second-hand chest of drawers that my fabric cutter stands atop, with the first drawer holding all my dies and cutting mats. I have charm squares organized in the middle drawers and the bottom drawer (which stays open a few inches when I use the cutter) is my new scrap catcher. Easy peasy!

I also have an installed Ikea closet/shelf system (floor to ceiling) that allows me to have fabric hung on pants hangers in two vertical rows -- organized by color. Very helpful when coordinating fabrics for new projects. Also from Ikea are these awesome fabric shoe boxes with clear plastic fronts (they have a zipper in the back to hold their shape). I stack these with materials for specific projects and projects in progress. Makes it so easy to find, plus they’re breathable (better for the fabric)

3.How do you prepare to sewing/quilting?

Just walk into my studio, close the door and get to it!

4.Do you sew after getting the order or forehead?

Both. I have some items ready to ship and do a lot of custom work. I also do a lot of wholesale work. When I’m deep in the middle of assembly-line sewing, I try to cut a few more, sew a few more to have ready-to-go for my etsy shop as well.

5.Where/How do you keep your items after you finish them?

Mostly in see-through tubs on shelves in my fabric storage room.

6.How do you pack your items and how do you send them?

I wrap everything in tissue paper and tie with a satin ribbon. One thing about sewn/quilted items is that they aren’t breakable. I use a variety of envelopes to keep the size down and send most items by First Class US Mail. But I do use Federal Express for shipping my quilts within the US because of their worth.

7.Your favorite 5 supply stores.

Most of my major fabric purchases come directly from the fabric manufacturers. I also use several etsy sellers for supplies. If I run out of a fabric and need it in a hurry, I sometimes call up Fat Quarter Shop and I’m a sucker for the sales at too. I get my satin ribbon from CheepTrims.


whimbrella said...

Thanks so much for the feature!

Rachel said...

I love the storage ideas you shared! The picture makes it look so neat and I never even thought about getting extra shelves from fabric thinking!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are BUSY! How many items are you usually working on at one time?

Kiki said...

Gorgeous items!!! And so organized. I look in envy at your fabric storage system.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a whole room in my house to devote to my hobby!

Rachel said...

What a great tip about the storage! I never even thought about buying from a fabric store going out of thinking!