Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spring Clean Your Studio

I absolutely love getting a chance to breathe in the creative spaces of others and recently I had the chance to spend some quality time with my friend Jess of Quilty Habit in her home studio. As I at her desk and looked around at stacks of projects, scribbled notebooks, (oh my goodness her pretty fabrics!?!) and not to mention the freaking amazing quilts EVERYWHERE can honestly tell you I didn't notice a n y messes. She apologized for them, but I was honed in on soaking up inspiration all around me and asking her as many questions as I could. We always have such a great time when we get together!

This morning as I sat down to write this I thought, I wish I could the same thing with/for all of you. Invite you over, pull up a chair & just chat about anything. As luck would find us, Cheryl my darling friend invited me to join her annual Spring Clean Your Studio Blog Hop. Behold, us! (link, in case you want to see what we look like in real life) Welcome to where the magic happens, or at least parts of it. I'll show you around. First, let me say Hello! and introduce myself a little to any new readers- I'm Jenelle! I design sustainable sewing projects, sell upcycled ruler bracelets, am a published author, and have a clothing line for boys called TrashN2Tees. I live in New Jersey (and miss my old Kentucky home everyday- I'll go on about it for days if you let me) with my honey & our two boys. When I'm not sewing; we're out discovering treasures at local flea markets and thrift store, firing up the coal forge, and eating pizza.

My studio space is always evolving, because 1. I'd much rather chase down ideas than clean up and 2. I'm always evolving as a designer. Curiosity is tickling the tips of my toes right now, can't wait to get back to work! What I'm trying to say is, it's okay to try new set ups and tools or move things around- nothing is permanent and at the end of the day you want to have a space that feeds that desire in your belly to make something beautiful.

There ya go, not a picture I'm proud of putting on the interwebs. A hot freaking mess- this space ends up being a catch all for everything and anything in the mix. Time for some spring cleaning...

My 'stash' takes up quite a bit of room. It's not traditional fabrics- but hoards and hoards of discarded textiles and t-shirts. Those are kept quazi sorted in my basement and storage. The fabric you're about to witness in the next picture is almost the total amount of quilting cotton or ya know regular ole' fabric that I own. 

On my travels I collect little vintage dodads, scissors, seam rippers, they go with the 15 vintage machines I have down stairs. It's a sickness. I keep what I can around the house and in my studio space without looking like a hoarder! This display of sorts sits upon an old black set of drawers that keep all of my branding materials for shipping products- business cards, mailers, inserts, so on. The jars are sitting up on old drawers from a Singer Treadle. 


I wimped out on the challenge, because I didn't clean off my desk- so just to keep it honest I'll sign off with a glimpse. I hope you've been enjoying the blog hop so far and thank you for joining me here on the TrashN2Tees stop! Be sure to check out all the great studio spaces & share your own by linking up tomorrow on muppin.com! 

April 20th- Toni Smith - http://www.quiltoni.com/tonis-blog.html/
April 21st - Sam Hunter - https://huntersdesignstudio.com/
April 22nd - Tracey Mooney - http://www.sewsupportive.com/
April 23rd - Pepper Cory - http://peppercory.blogspot.com/
April 24th - Lisa Chin - http://somethingcleveraboutnothing.blogspot.com/
April 25th - Andrea Davis - http://www.sewtofit.com/
April 26th - Misty Cole - http://www.mistycole.com/blog/
April 27th - Amalia Morusiewicz - http://funfromatoz.com/
April 28th - Jenelle Montilone - http://trashn2tees.blogspot.com/
April 29th - Cheryl Sleboda - http://blog.muppin.com

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fabric Manipulation and Textures with Knits


The ebb and flow of this creative journey is alluring isn't it? I truly never really know where I'm heading- even when I've written out a concise clear color coded plan. (It doesn't turn out quite like I try to plan!) But even so... I continue to embrace the opportunities and explore those that tickle the utmost wanderings and desires of my heart I feel a little like Goldilocks bouncing from chair to chair testing out.

Lately you might be noticing some quilting and lots of experiments with textures like this on the back of a quilt. It was done by adding layers of knit, line quilting, and then meticulously cutting between the rows careful not to go through the front. I'll be sharing a few more textures in the upcoming weeks here and you can always see more works in progress on Instagram

Monday, March 28, 2016

Instagram & The Fear Of Missing Out

Before I even had a cup of coffee this morning, I knew today was going to be different. The shifting began a few weeks ago when Instagram announced they'd be shaking up the order you see posts on their network. Many of you watched, and some even joyed, as hundreds of people I know personally flocked to Ello. I'm not even clear on what Ello is, still. I'm stubborn and a tad bit too lazy to take on yet another 'fad' network.

As I tucked myself in this morning preparing my soap box full of love and get over it my pal Cody of Lu & Ed sent this pretty post across my screen:  Why I'm Not Asking Instagram Followers To Turn On Notifications
Cody wrote everything I was thinking and then some- including excellent tips on keeping your followers engaged and (zoinks!) how these changes can actually benefit your brand. Head over there and check it out.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Modern Twist on the T-shirt Quilt


Sewing knits can be a daunting challenge, but what's the worst that could go wrong when working on a t-shirt quilt? Stretching, rolling, shifting, and puncturing your fabric with the wrong needle for starters. I joined Sew Mama Sew to share a comprehensive guide to sewing a t-shirt quilt in modern style.


In Part One we cover all the things you need to get started; where to find t-shirts, and how to maximize your t-shirt material, prepare your t-shirts for piecing and cut them to size.

In Part Two we cover the basic layout, reducing bulky seams, fool proof tips for screen printing the top of your quilt and I’ll show you how to bind the quilt using your backing.



You can still grab my free T-shirt Quilt Pattern on Joanns Fabrics too! Have you tried sewing a quilt with t-shirts? Show it off by uploading an image or tagging yours with hashtag #quiltthetshirt on Instagram and I'll share my favorites!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Inspiration Seeking & Urban Exploration



Unearthing rusty gold, digging deep into the roots of our past, all while adding worth to the presence. Photography has always been a coming home of sort for me and in the moments when I feel least creative- it is my outlet for reconnecting.

We are often lead to cross paths with the buildings and businesses that are slowly being swallowed up by nature or greed. Sometimes it's both. Cherishing the relics left behind- even in a still moment, realizing that decades may have gone by since someone inhaled the stale air. I feel obligated to explore and document what I see. 


It's this deep underlying sense of responsibility to our future generations that they have that gift of witnessing the unfiltered beauty and harmony of nature reclaiming it own. In those places where cracks in the wall give way to creeping plants, faded photographs, and broken glass filters the sun- an aged and unforced harmony conceals the true hidden beauty.

There's a whole subculture of Urban Exploration I'm just discovering. Their accounts and explorations will keep you on the edge of your seat. While I have the luxury of invitation- many urbanex'ers go rouge. That means they're often trespassing, entering unsafe structures- nothing like a little danger to get your blood pumping. 


For me, however, urban exploration has become a never ending source of inspiration. It’s a chance to encounter scenes quite unlike those we come across in every day life and document them before their inevitable demise. Perhaps, I hope, that we may learn something about the world and ourselves in the process.






Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Protecting Your Sewing Investments When Disaster Strikes


Unexpected things happen, well... they happen unexpectedly. Today we're going to cover some options available for protecting your sewing investments when disaster strikes. Sewing machines range wildly in value from under $100.00 to well over $8,000.00 (and more!) when you get into specialized machinery and hi tech options. For myself and so many others- our livelihoods, our families are supported by the craft we love. I felt like it was an important topic to cover for all of to understand the importance and value of protecting your sewing machines and supplies while unearthing some things you might've thought you knew but didn't. I'll also be sharing some insight from a sewist who lost her entire home studio to a house fire with tips on how to navigate a claim if the worst case scenario happens to you. Read: I am not an insurance professional and your best option would be to contact your local provider with any detailed questions. 


What types of insurance will cover your home sewing studio? 


Homeowners Insurance & Renters Insurance 

For a hobby sewist your homeowners/renters plan will cover your sewing machine, thread, and notions under contents. Keep a record of your stash by regularly taking a photograph of your book shelves, thread drawers oozing with bright Aurifil threads, and good gravy! don't forget about your fabric! Keep receipts for your machine purchases in a file. State Farm offers up a nifty index that will help you expedite the process if disaster ever strikes. I can't imagine I'd be able to accurately account for all of the items I have in the studio after any devastating experience. Taking a little time today will give you some peace of mind. 

Right now it's hard to imagine a tornado, hurricane, earthquake or burglar striking your home or studio but it wasn't so long ago a friend of mine was settling into bed when her house caught fire. She and her family were able to get out in time but everything from her sewing machines, to fabric, to spools of threads needed to be replaced. Another friend of mine recounts the day a 100 foot tall tree nearly came through her roof the small amount of damage that was done had her saying graces knowing that only a few more inches or feet further the damage would've been done to her home studio. 

Important things to know and consider: 
You need to understand how they value your sewing machine & what type of replacement options they actually offer. Actual cash value will replace your property at cost minus depreciation. Allow me to break that down: If you're sewing machine cost $1000 today to replace it, your adjuster may only reimburse you $600. This trend carries on with all of your belongings.

Even if you currently have insurance I urge you to contact your provider and ask questions. Many insurance providers I looked at only offer the cost to replace the items with a comparable product. I'm not confident that your adjuster realizes a your favorite BERNINA sewing machine isn't just another sewing machine.

I consulted with my insurance savvy friend Jackie, and asked her to help me navigate the waters and get the protection I needed on my own machines. Her exact words were, "Insurance can be tricky, if you're items aren't insured properly you can get screwed." Well, obviously we don't want that to happen. Jackie explained that standard coverage not only depreciates value but also has a max pay out- in many cases this is where people realize how under insured they really are. She suggested that in addition to having my renters insurance I schedule my machines. This tidbit it applicable for anyone who has a significant chunk of change invested in your machinery.




To schedule an item on your insurance means you're specifically listing it. As all providers are different you'll likely be asked to provide a photograph and ask for receipts. Scheduling your machine is taking additional coverage for that particular item- in the event of a fire, theft, or disaster you will be compensated for the complete cost. Generally speaking this added protection runs about $25 per $1,000. 

Sewing as a hobby or a way of life we are investing significant amount of money (and time) on fabrics, notions, patterns, and different machines. I feel like it's a conservative gesture to assume any avid maker is spending upwards of $2,000/year in supplies alone. These are items we've hand picked to fit our tastes, our style, our needs. Fabrics we've been longing for, fabrics we wrap our newborns with. We're creating bits of legacy with each stitch of quilt. Rooting our love and the art so deeply that it hurts my heart to even imagine such a travesty affecting a friend of a friend, or anyone in our communities- let alone myself. I hope that sharing a little bit of information with you today will open the air for greater conversations and questions in the comments. I look forward to connecting with you there. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

I'm Not A Quilter and That's Okay

Anna Faustino // Tulip Fields 
Do aisles and aisles of quilts excite you? Yesterday I had the opportunity to travel to The Quilt and Sewing Fest of New Jersey with my friend Jessica (of Quilty Habit) and her mom Monika. We discovered over Quiltcon West (*neither of us were ACTUALLY even there!) that we're neighbors, living in the same the same town! It's been refreshing to connect with another soft structure maker in the flesh.

While I'm not a quilter of much myself- I have tinkered with a few small quilting with t-shirts projects like the Shut You Pie Hole Mini & my Modern T-shirt Quilt. I do have some, a teeny tiny bit, of experience working with FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) on a domestic machine and have spent a few hours playing with the BERNINA Q24 long arm machine. I absolutely appreciate the art of it. Yesterday's stroll through the aisles, weren't all exciting- and that's okay. That to me doesn't discredit the art, the artist, or the genre. Some were boring, others too busy... I felt like Goldilocks looking for the bed that was juuuuuust right. It was fun!

This is nothing new, as many of my friends and mentors walk in the quilt world. I'm constantly surrounded by their amazing works. I secretly wonder if they'd notice a missing quilt or two- and later recognize them on my couch.

As Jess introduced me to her fellow guild members, they asked if I was thinking about joining the local MQG. I fuddled around with my words, uh, I'm not really sure if it will be right for me- I'm not actually a quilter. Or am I? My mind flashed to 5+ years ago when I was sitting across from Alexandra Franzen she said,
"Did you write today?"
"Yes,  of course I did. Emails, texts, notes from some classes..." I continued my list on.  
"If you wrote today, you are a writer." she replied. 
Working on my own Modern T-shirt Quilt 
Here I am sitting at the computer thinking what I might expect as I visit my first Modern Quilt Guild meeting tomorrow (as a member visitor and not a lecturer.) Thinking about how I'll introduce myself and how I'll be received as NOT being a quilter. Taking Alex's insight to heart, not only am I writer, designer, maker, mom, insanely awesome basketball player, horrible cook; I am in fact a part time quilter.

Things aren't always meant to fit neatly into a box, especially when it comes to creativity. I'm looking forward to visiting the lovely women I've heard so much about and embrace their journey, listen to their stories, and grow as a creative surrounded by others who appreciate all walks of stitchery.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover