Happy Halloween!!

I have not been good about blogging this week, thanks to FireFox/google not letting me in....it's not that I haven't tried. Hang in there with me as we get this settled (or I remove all the FireFox stuff I just downloaded).

I hope each of you had a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

This week, I started some work on Christmas stuff, believe it or not. Those of you who know me well, will find this impossible, but it's true. Honest!

In my spare time, I whipped up some goodie bags for the neighborhood kids and managed to add a few finishing touches to a few costumes.

Yesterday, FUN MAIL arrived. Special thanks the senders!!!!!!

WOO HOO!!!! Who knew a little stash manicure article would bring such impossible to find fabric to the stash???? Thank you!

Happy Quilting and holiday crafting, too!!
Best Wishes,


Guest Blogging about TRADING FABRIC

 For my third post on Stash Manicure, I decided to discuss the joys of trading fabrics. Be sure to click on the above link to check out the details.

Would you like to host your own fabric exchange? It's quite simple, really. Decide who you'll be inviting to swap, first. Your local sewing club or guild is a great place to start but there are also informal groups meeting at the local church or library, online trading groups & quilty friends from near and far, too. Check your organization for suggestions and/or guidelines before you get really excited about trading. I'm a no rules kind of gal, but not everyone is and the more quilters involved in swaps, the merrier.

Next, you'll need to come up with an outline of suggested swap themes and poll to see what's most popular if you're able. Sometimes trades are slow to start but as members see how much fun you're having and what you're doing with the swapped fabrics, you will get more interest. Really, I promise. Stick with it.

It may be that your group has a pretty common theme or color fabric that everyone already owns. If your group tends to LOVE brights or can't live without batiks, start with those. If everyone gushes over red/white/blue combinations or reproduction fabrics, put those first on your list. It could be that holiday fabric appeals to the quilters in your circle AND that's timely, too. What could be better? You'll find more suggestions along the way as quilters become involved.

Be sure you are very specific in writing your guidelines and be willing to tweak them over time, if necessary. Include the most popular size/shape of your trades, even if it's not your favorite to work with. As you move along and gain additional interest, you'll be able to get the perfect precuts for your stash...hang in there.

I like to use layer cake sizes to trade, but I'm a charm quilter and many quilters prefer more fabric to work with. Fat quarter swaps have grown on me over the years. Some people prefer strips, others small charms, still others like to trade yardage, books, notions, etc.

Once you narrow down the fabric size options, be sure to take a larger size into account if there is a lot of interest. It may be that strip traders are willing to do a fat quarter swap, it's jus not their ideal. A FQ can still be cut down to multiple half length strips and you'll have a lot of happy traders. Plus, you could always offer 2 size options or make the following month strips. Whatever works best for your group. 
A little cooperation goes a long way.

Do your research. Check out the internet for some free patterns and cut and paste the links in handout form or check out a book in your local library and ask your wonderful librarian friend if it can be held for your group members. Get all the details for your potential project list together so people have a good reason to dig into their stashes and get cutting.

Imagine having a mess of a stash and giant list of to-do projects and someone says, hey lets swap green fabric! Wouldn't that be fun? UH, no.

On the other hand, if you showed the latest must have free quilt pattern and point out we could all have lovely quilts from a free block of the month program like THIS, cut from our very own stashes by trading 4 fat quarters each month for the next few months, adding in your choice of background fabric....you'll hear a resounding YES!! When can we start this awesome project?? Then you can review your organized details and say...How about next meeting?

Unsure of something? ASK. Get suggestions from members most likely to trade. Know that you can't please everyone all the time. Check with someone who has coordinated successful swaps for ideas or to help guide you through the process.

 Last, let the trading begin!!

Happy Quilting (and bartering!!),


Updated Reader Locations & First B&W Block for RSVP

United States






United Kingdom





South Africa



United Arab Emirates



Costa Rica
New Zealand



That's quite a list for a relatively new blog! If there are other countries represented by readers, please be sure to drop me a note for another round of updates. Thank you.
Curve Master Presser Foot - plastic snap on foot with universal adapters fits most sewing machines
This morning I played with the Curve Master again after a long break. I brought it out when Melissa was over but stumbled through it a bit since it's been so long. I'd like to get a tiny bit of practice in before her next visit so I can give her a proper demonstration...but I LOVE that no pins are involved. None. Can you imagine piecing curves without pinning?? It's such a neat little gadget!


This block came together rather quickly...but it is just a sample. If you're sewing along, please use any 12 1/2 inch unfinished block you'll enjoy creating.

On to other bloggy business...

Reader, Shannon asked about the 1930s reproductions and states she's a new collector of similar fabrics. I sent a reply several times but it has been returned to me undeliverable. In case there is more interest in this topic, I've decided to post my response here.

About half of my fabric stash is made up of 30s reproductions, the majority of which are out of print by Judie Rothermel (Marcus Brothers)...I started buying them at a local quilt shop and found a lot at the International Quilt Festival Chicago, too. Difficult to find locally, I search the internet and pick some up whenever I can. I've been collecting these types of fabrics for several years, so please know going in it's going to take a while to accumulate a wide variety.

Blue Hill's Toybox & Feedsack Lines are some that I adore, I have a few by Nancy Mahoney (P&B textiles) and some really nice Darlene Zimmerman deigns (Robert Kaufman). Some of my older fabrics are by Windham, from the the feedsack & storybook lines. Chloe's closet fabrics by moda, Maywood Studios' Makin' Conversation, and some RJR lines (like everything but the kitchen sink & roaring 20s and beyond) have a spot in my heart...as do the Henry Glass' Posies+Puppies plus special edition ones like the Kansas City Star Patterns of History. I believe the KC Star line was designed by Barbara Brackman for moda.

I sometimes find other smaller brands through swaps online....connecting threads have some but they are not my first choice in fabrics. I think they are called mama's cottons and something canning, it escapes me for the moment. Please note free shipping is limited to the US only.

There's also the Andover washtub series and the new Lots of Dots line that I have a few of. If you are willing to shop online, you'll have access to more lines and brands of fabrics than what your local shops carry. My favorite LQS is begining to widen the selection (YAY!) and I do travel to another shop in South Bend for some goodies (at Ericas---you can find them under the old fashioned link LOL)...I can buy online but prefer going there in person.

In general, just love the style of these fabrics as they remind me of my great grandmother. I'm lucky enough to have some vintage 30s fabrics from her coveted stash, (and some from Marjorie's family, too). There's a bit of information on my first 2 Stash Manicure guest posts here:  if you'd care to read more.

Are you collecting for a specific project or are you still on the hunt for the perfect way to display your fabrics? Some 30s are identical reproductions in quilters cottons, others are a general style that the designers update a bit for contemporary sewists. To find which lines appeal most to you, be sure to check out the various websites to get a feel for the entire line. There are some beautiful fabrics out there! Enjoy the process and please let me know if I can be of assistance.
Happy Quilting,


Sew-In, Blocks & Location??

The prize packs are en route. Congratulations again to our winners. Many thanks to all the RETRO-Fabulous readers for making the latest giveaway such fun!

I'd love to tell you all about my latest finishes, but I'm afraid there isn't much to report since Friday. I had the best of intentions Saturday but learned that I do not multi-task as well as dear Melissa of Sewing Adventures. She was whipping up the blocks while I chatted (on and on and on) and lazily appliqued a few leaves.

I do hope I don't get accustomed to this laid back pace.

OOOh she taught me how to Skype! Now, you techno queens might not think that's a biggie but I just got texting, so trust me when I say it's a big deal in the Fab household.

In other news, RSVP was thrilled to receive the fall-themed blocks for their fundraiser quilt. The next batch will be 12" finished Black and White blocks. I have a little stack of B&W from that dresden table topper a while ago (a gift for a FABULOUS Reader). I'll be using the remainder of those bits to whip up a few blocks, no doubt with the assistance of EQ.

*If you'd care to join in the fun, please let me know through email HeatherL02 {at}yahoo {dot} com*


Where in the world do you call home?
So far, these countries have popped up on the audience list regularly:

United States
United Kingdom
South Africa
United Arab Emirates

**If you don't see your country, please let us know so we can update the list**
Wishing you Happy Quilting & a Joyous Monday,


Adios Blogland Vacation!

Well, it's been a completely relaxing couple of weeks----YEAH, right like any busy mom has any spa-like vacation days with 3 munchkins in tow. But it has been a bit of time to catch up on a few of the projects I've been putting off a while besides enjoying my time with the family.

{ooh, and I can't forget the doggie...he needs mom, too}

In a nutshell my activities include, but are certainly not limited to:
  • another guest post installment for Stash Manicure, scheduled to post the 22nd (YAY!)
  • started a gift for a very nice bloggy friend's sewing room & plan a sew-in tomorrow to complete it
  • met with some fun local quilters, a new group meeting once a month {with NO RULES!!}
  • baked an unbelievable amount of the munchkins' favorite cookies
  • swapped a few dozen delicious fat quarters online----YES!! New STASH!!

  • took a road trip with Mr. Fabulous to the quilting mecca of the state: Shipshewana, IN 
  • figured out my list of tutorials---which are still in progress....haven't forgotten
  • appliqued to my heart's content
  • reorganized the incredible mess in the sewing room
                                               {I'm not messy but Jane sure is...good grief!}
  • started a new, top secret super fun project that I'm completely in love with and can hardly wait to share
  • Oh, and one more little thing....won a blue ribbon. Oh, yes. I couldn't possibly be more excited about my very first ribbon. It truly was an amazing surprise that made my month!!
Don't forget to sign up for the giveaways if you haven't already...comments are open until tonight at midnight, Central US time. I plan to announce the winners in tomorrow's post.

Best Wishes & HAPPY Quilting,


Giveaway Updates

Welcome new followers and thank you loyal readers!!
WOW! We’ve hit 200 comments and are still going strong----how awesome is that? I’m one happy blogger, for sure! Please be patient with me as I sort through new comments and do my best to reply. I read every one of your kind comments and truly enjoy doing so. This go round I may not get a reply out to everyone. Thank you so much in advance for understanding.
I clicked on a few comments that were filed as anonymous. Some do not list an email contact. A few others happen to be no-reply bloggers.
Please check your status to be sure that you are eligible for all the drawings going on. It would be a shame to miss out simply because fall-into-fall blog hop hosts could not reach you.

*Since we’ve had a lot of interest in the goodies, I will be using the Random.org site to choose the lucky winners. The giveaway will close October 15th at midnight Central US time.*

 But wait, there's more...

 Vickie’s site Spun Sugar Quilts is having a 600th post set of

~SIX Giveaways~

You may remember Vickie’s Giant Pincushion Sew Along ----LOVE MINE! If you haven’t made one yet, add it to your must do ASAP list----it holds a ton of pins! Anything I can do to make pinning tolerable makes me happy and it’s super cute, too. What could be better? Be sure to stop in, add yourself to Vickie's follower list if you haven't already and congratulate her on reaching 600+ posts.

I hope you're enjoying the blog hop, meeting some great crafty people along the way.

Best of Luck,



This giveaway is now closed.

Emails are going out next to our winners, chosen by random.org:

RETRO: jednoiglec (#2)

FABULOUS: Nanette Merrill and daughters (#203)

Thanks for your interest.

Welcome to Fall into Fall Giveaways! I’m pleased to be one of over 150 bloggers hosting giveaways from today through October 15. Debi was kind enough to coordinate this gathering of quilters. You’ll notice the scarecrow at the top right--that’s a direct link to the full list of participants. Best of luck to all my readers, you’re the best!!

The RETRO-Fabulous Giveaway details:

RETRO gift pack

Fabulous gift pack

RETRO gift pack includes a dozen 1930 reproduction fat eighths, the EZ Dresden Template by Darlene Zimmerman, Granny's Bloomers runner & quilt pattern, Pinwheels A Plenty table topper pattern, Dritz Point Turner/Presser and YLI Silk Thread.

Fabulous Prize Pack includes Six KONA Cotton Solid fat quarters in blues, purple & pinks, The EZ Circle Cut Template by Sharon Hultgren, Autumn Stars wall hanging pattern and Coats & Clark 1200 yard thread cone.

This giveaway is open to all readers, regardless of location. You are welcome to comment whether you have a blog or not.

Chances: Single comments are worth one chance. If you include all your information for multiple chances in one response, it’s still worth one.

*Leave a comment stating which prize package you’d prefer (if you like both equally, you may say either). Be sure to leave your email address if you are an anonymous follower or have a no-reply blogger. If you’d like to type it as your heatherl 02 at yahoo dot com to avoid spam, that’s perfectly fine. (1) If you are chosen and cannot be reached, a new name will be drawn.*

*If you are a follower of the retro-fabulous blog or a reader via feedburner, leave a comment regarding which version you read for an extra chance. (1)

*Add yourself as a follower and leave a comment letting me know you did. (1)

*Blog about the Fall into Fall Giveaway and leave a comment here with a link to that post. (1)

Those who left a comment on the last block completed prior to this posting, will earn an extra point.

Best of Luck Fabulous Readers,

Over the Rainbow 30s Jane

Now the moment I’ve really been waiting for….the reveal of the 30s Over the Rainbow Jane main blocks. I’m looking forward to a short break from this project as I complete the set up of the tutorial page coming soon.

The next post will include giveaway information. It's coming right up!
Best Wishes,