Wednesday, February 15, 2017

8 Shooters: Fabric Requirements

Time's a-wastin'!
We ain't got no time to lose!
We have to begin our mystery NOW!

Why the rush???
Well because of the fabric. There are pesky fabric thieves on the loose and you have to grab your fabric and protect it before it's all gone!

You see, when I was deciding what fabric to use, I just couldn't help myself, I was drawn to the fabric we used in our last mystery. Sort of. There is a new line that came out that is very similar, but different. And it's almost ALL GONE.
There is more coming available TODAY at Fabric . com but I don't expect it to last but a few days, so I knew that I had to rush and post. I had a hard time finding it anywhere else on the net even.

In fact, you can use solids, or make it scrappy,  or use whatever you heart desires. I'll explain as we go here on this post, but you will need to pay VERY CLOSE ATTENTION as we will be using 13 fabrics in this quilt. It will be alot of colorful fun, but you are going to have to choose very carefully. There are times when you can use the same fabric twice. Your quilt might not be quite as colorful but it's will still be quite pretty.

I'll explain each fabric and why I chose it. I'll recap the fabric requirements at the very top of the 8 Shooters page (see it at the top of my blog?) so that fabric requirements will be easy to find and check back with. But if you want details of the WHY of each color, then you will need to check this long blog post.

Ok, ready to load your bullets? Let's talk ammunition!


QUILT SIZE: The quilt finishes at 51" x 51" NOT COUNTING BORDERS!!
You WILL NEED TO ADD extra fabric for borders and backing. They are NOT INCLUDED in these requirements. You can choose your own border size, and you know it is a 51" x 51" square quilt. I highly recommend picking up extra of some of your background or accent fabric for a border or two.


EVERYTHING has to be thought of in sets of 8 or divisible by 8 or multiplied times 8. In fact, I should have probably gone pirate theme with this mystery and called it pieces of 8. Think 8s folks.
8 Shooters. That's the name of the game.

With that in mind:


I am using this panel called Kismet Mandala's.
If following my example, YOU WILL NEED FOUR PANELS.
Can we say drool? It's all gone right now but more is supposed to arrive within hours of this posting, (at Fabric . com) so act fast or it will be gone.
If you want to go a less expensive route, then that is fine! Any tonal or print or even solid will do. The hardest thing is we work in repeates, in case you are fussy cutting. I will be fussy cutting this piece so it took me four panels. But if you don't fussy cut, you will need far less. This IS THE FOCUS. It will set the mood and choose your fabric for the entire quilt. So pick something colorful.

You will be cutting 160 pieces that are approx 1.5" x 3" from your focal fabric. And you will be working in multiples of 8. If you will see, there are two mandala repeats per panel. So, from each I was able to get 8 repeats, but at times I cut all of them out for a total of 64 matching pieces. Then I did it again for 64 different matching pieces. I will explain that as we go. The point I am trying to make is this: You will be cutting 160 focal pieces and they at least need to look similar in sets of 8. Make sense? I hope it does. I would try to at least stay in the same color families for the sets, and really, you are most of the time going to want to match them in at least sets of 16 if not sets of 64.

If you can find any of the older panels around the web, they would work just as well. The names change but they are all by Paula Nadlestern by Benartex. I've used them multiple times and they never disappoint.  In fact, any of the Paula Nadlestern fabric would work.

If NOT fussy cutting, then you just need 3/4 yard of your focal fabric.
(there are several):

are matching prints.
I chose to fussy cut these as well.
You can use two colors as I did, or you can just combine them as one color and it would still look really nice.
You need only 1/4 yd of each if not fussy cutting but if fussy cutting then watch what I did:

I wanted to use the same color, just working with a lighter, and darker version, but I didn't have one available so I purchased these two prints from the Kismet line. They are called Kismet Flash Dance:

They were highly frustrating to me as I could only get one yard of each and there weren't enough repeats in one yard. One yard only has 15 repeats for my fussy cut! NOT COOL when I needed 16. (I am making 8 shooters here! ) So, I made it work with only one yard of each. And it does work. But if you want to make things much easier on yourself as we go along, try to purchase a yard and a half of each.
Again if not fussy cutting, then you only need 1/4 yard of two different matching prints or 1/2 yd of one print.


are also matching prints. 

This time I was able to grab up a dark and a light of the same color. I used the same Kismet Flash Dance prints that I used above, but this time in blues.

Unfortunately I had the exact same fussy cut problem as I had before. What's with a repeat of 15 anyway?
So, stress like me and get a yard.
Or save trouble and get 1 1/2 yards.
Or make fussy cut repeats down right easy and get 2 yards.
Or use a non fussy cut print and get 1/4 yard of each.



Remember my color A was pink, my color B was orange and my color C/D was blue?
Well we are going to match these colors. You can in fact use the same fabric if you desire. But I wanted to add some character, and chose matching tonals. See below and you will understand what I mean.( If you chose the same color for A/B then just choose the same color for A2 and B2).

So for my A2 and B2 I chose these tonals:
You need 1/4 yd of each A2 and B2 

For C2 you need just ONE tonal and it needs to be 1/2 yard. 
This is my C2 tonal (it matches my C and D blue prints):



First choose your main background fabric. This fabric will come in contact your focal print and all of your coordinating prints and other background solids, so it needs to very much be a backgroundish type solid. (Such as black, gray, white, ivory). I chose black as I want all my bright colors to really stand out.

You need 1 yard of your main background fabric. 
(More if you want to use some on a border). 

You need 1/3 yard of each of two solids that match but are not the same as your coordinating colors.
I chose aquas. A lighter and a darker one. 1/3 yard of each.

And then you again need two matching solids, a lighter and a darker of another color. I chose purple.
You need 1/2 yard each of these two matching solids.


And that, my fellow 8 Shooters is it. 
I know it seems confusing. Remember to click on the little 8 Shooters button at the top of the page where I've typed out a re-cap of them all, and I think you will understand it better. 


This is a quick re-cap of fabrics needed to make things easier and all in one place:
** If using Kismet Mandalas (or any Benartex mandala panels) you need four panels.
** If using your own print you need 160 pieces that are approx 1.5" x 3". If NOT fussy cutting you would need 3/4 a yard.
**If fussy cutting, you need to make sure repeats are in sets of 8. Sets of 16, 32 and 64 are most                desired.

**If using Kismet Flash Dance, you need to get 1 1/4 - 1/ 1/2 yds of each to make fussy cutting easy, but I got by with yard of each.
** If not fussy cutting, then you would just need 1/4 yard of each.
**They can be combined to one print/ one color for a 1/2 yd.

**If using Kismet Flash Dance, you will again need to get about 1 1/2 to even 2 yards of each for fussy cut repeat. But I survived with 1 yd of each.
**If not fussy cutting, then you would just need 1/4 yard of each.

**You need 1/4 yd each of A2 and B2. These need to match your A and B prints. They can be the
same tonal, you'll just need 1/2 yard if so.
**You need 1/2 yd of C2 Tonal. This needs to match your C/D prints.

**You need 1 yard.

 **You need a 1/3 yard of each of two matching colors.

 **You need 1/2 yard of each of two matching colors.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

News Worthy

I was trying to figure out what to post about as I have several things to tell you about. I decided to just blog them all, and have you treat it like a newspaper. Read what you want, skip what you don't want. Some might be very news worthy if it pertains to you:

I have had several people email/ call about paper kits for my designs. Well my laser machine and I have been fighting a battle and the laser is ALWAYS WINNING. So here is the thing. If you can handle having little tiny marks on your pieces of paper, then the kits will be ready soon. My laser company cannot figure out why I get marks in every corner of whatever I cut. So *shoulders shrug*, thus they are Hillbilly Papers. Cheaper than the rest, but work like a charm, lol. I don't have any cut right now but they don't take long.(I was able to very quickly cut all 796 of my own papers for the mystery.)  So the kits for Starry Beginnings will be ready within the week and kits for the 8 Shooters mystery will be ready by March 1st. As long as the laser agrees as it runs the show. I am looking at it with full contempt right now.

Fabric requirements is my next blog post and I will set it to post at midnight. You will then have until March before I post the kits or the PDF files. This mystery has some freedom but you'll need to really read to understand the fabric requirements.

I know I keep saying I'll get stuff sold off but trust me, this is far more important at the moment, as in the long scheme of things my business has to bring in the money so all bills/re payments can be taken care of. I am finding that since working full time, I am useless to anyone when I get home from work. Call me lazy and a wimp, but I come home so exhausted, and my feet hurt so badly from Plantars that I just can't function. Usually I spend the evening apologizing to Stephen that we once again have to watch a movie because I can't handle anything else, then I fall asleep during the movie. I used to work evenings which was better. I was fine working around home during the day, then heading to work, then coming home and dying. But more and more often, I work day times. Then I get home and become a wimp and can't bring myself to spend a few hours selling off stuff. And its a cycle. Then there are the Jerry issues which take away even more of my time. Read below but usually you all hear about them first anyway.

Jerry continues to be a walking miracle. Lately he is feeling awful but he's been without insurance since October, and has gone without some of his meds since that time. Thankfully he will be on medicare by April if not before. He is approved to be on it now but, you know, we are waiting on the government. We just need him to hold his own a bit longer, but each day gets more difficult. He tends to get confused and makes mistakes, constantly overdrawing our bank account. And his thinking he could fix things that he can't causes stress, not afraid to say it. Recently he attempted to fix our hot water heater, flooded the house in the mean time, and now we've been without hot water for almost 6 weeks. And counting. He wants to pay the bills but he forgets what he has done and not done. I got an email last night that our electricity is being turned off next week, but its only a day before pay day, so it will be ok. One day is do able. I can't believe I am sharing this with the world, especially when I am trying to run a business, as it is quite embarrassing, but I am rather human and I live with a disabled husband that is stubborn as a you know what and I am the one that has to deal with these things when to be honest, I think I'd rather be quilting. His memory issues are the hardest for me to deal with. It's frustrating as he argues what he thinks he remembers. But, he's feeling worse, so in bed more, which might sound horrible for me to say, but it makes it easier than when he's up and around. And as soon as he gets his Medicare then we will get him all fixed up again. And, I take over bills and finances from now on. I think the electricity was the final straw in that little matter.

A few days ago a dear friend from work passed away. Tomorrow we are all going to the funeral. While it is frustrating to me that I HAVE to work away from home full time, when I have a husband that needs babysat, a 7 yr old that needs a mom, and a quilting business that could use my attention, I will say that my job is a wonderful distraction from my life. We co workers are very close knit. Sometimes management switches around as they use our store managers to train other store managers, and during the process there is a lot of store switching going on. Anyone that spends anytime at all working in our store, always wish that they could stay forever and not have to go back to their own stores. So, another store is helping cover us during the funeral and as a group we are going to support our friend. Sad times. But, also at work, my manager is learning quilting and every night she texts me showing progress of her first quilt. I am so proud of her. She is taking the class at a guild and is learning so many different types of things. They have them learning, EPP, FPP, curves, applique...all in one beginner quilt. So, even in the midst of work, I am finding time to at least talk of quilting. Helga would talk of quilts too. She had a list a mile long of quilt ideas she wanted me to make, bless her heart. Pray for us tomorrow as we go pay our final respects. Rough day for all of us.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Little Change mystery wise.

With the re-structure of my business, I am no longer making any income for my fabric/quilt shop. This was fine for awhile, as I needed a break. But, to be honest, I can't make a go of supporting my family on my little $10 an hour I make as a cashier so I've got to put my love of quilt design to work.

While I've always dreamed of using my patterns as a means to an income, the method of the dream has changed. I was going to build a quilt shop and devote it to EPP. Since I live near MSQC, this dream could very easily become a reality. But then, God said no. He does that sometimes, because His plans are bigger than our dreams. (Or maybe He's just saying No for now. I still live in the perfect location. I just work too much for this to be a reality at the moment. )

In the midst of all of God's saying No when it comes to my business, I still have a small dream tucked away. I have always wanted to travel to shops, guilds, and quilt retreats to teach people EPP and now I'd really like to offer mini mystery retreats. I know EPP is much more popular than it was five years ago when I started, so I am not sure this dream is any good anymore or not. Still it is a the little ember of a dream lingering in the midst of my having to leave the home and the quilt shop behind and go work full time. It flickers away, and keeps my inner quilt fire going, even if ever so slight.

Which brings me to my latest mystery. I am no longer bringing you FREE mysteries. From now on, I will be charging a minimal fee (this mystery is just $6.99) for the pdf file. The file will include all pdf templates for your papers, and will be necessary even if you purchase your papers elsewhere. The purchase of a paper pack will include the pdf file.

PLEASE, I have spent hours and hours preparing this mystery for you. Don't share the PDF or paper sizes with your friends. Please ask them to pay the minimal amount for this great mystery fun.
By the way, the PRICE OF THE PATTERN WILL INCREASE once the mystery is finished. So, purchase it now to get the lower rate.

The PDF will be available in just a few days. Get your eight shooters cleaned and ready!

Friday, February 10, 2017


Yes Siree!
It is time to step right up for rip rollin, sparks flyin' new mysterious EPP Mystery Along With Hillbilly!

Coming soon: 

This mystery proves to be easy, or challenging.

Fussy cut, or no?

This mystery will be fun and different.

For several years now, the Wild EPP West has been dominated by hexagons but it is time to tame that Wild EPP West and branch out into something new. 

In just a few days I'll be announcing fabric requirements.


I was sewing along on my next pattern to release. It is the first of my "Big Easy" line of patterns, when I remembered a design I had started several years ago and it got pushed aside when my business life changed. I pulled the design out, brushed it off, did some design changes on it, and am now releasing it as an amazing new mystery.
(The big easy has been set to the side until after the mystery as I don't want to give away the design).

I've shown a photo of the pattern to several people and the response has been really great. One response made me smile from ear to ear:
" I love it! That mystery quilt will keep them guessing until the very last."

Ha! Perfect, that is exactly what I want!

So, strap on your spurs, clean your guns and get ready as this mystery is about to begin.

P.s. You will understand the sudden urgency when you see the fabric requirement post in just a few days.

Right now, just clean your guns, and be ready and SPREAD THE WORD!!!!

Grab the photo and share it in facebook groups and on blogs and instagram and pinterest, with your guilds and with your sewing buddies!