My Quilt Lab

by Cynthia Concha

  • cynthia concha

It's December 14th. My dad's birthday. And the day I got engaged 5 years ago. A happy day every year to be sure. It's also why I'm a little late posting today's blog challenge topic. "Show Us Your Stash." ...okay, you asked for it.

Nope - that's not my stash. But it is what I wish my stash looked like. Isn't this a dream?! A guild friend let me take this picture as inspiration for my future quilt lab. She has her fabric all wrapped around comic book paperboard, and clipped in place; color organized to boot. SO lovely.

Alas, I have moved several times in the last ten years. I think we're up to eight addresses now. We've never stayed in any place long enough to buy a permanent home - it's always been apartment living - so having the space and time to make a nice fabric presentation just hasn't been realistic. Now however, we are permanently placed. And high on my list of "must haves" for a permanent home is a big quilt lab, with lots of light and wall space to be thoroughly and beautifully organized. Until then, I live out of crates and boxes. There is a bit of organization, but as you can see below, it's not the pretty rainbow of above.

There are several more crates, but they are in an even less presentable stage at the moment. Someday I'll have that dream fabric stash... maybe even by the time I do this blog challenge next year!

Thanks for stopping by my quilt lab!


  • cynthia concha

Hi All! Back after a few days off from this challenge. In case you missed it, I signed up for a daily blog challenge for quilters/crafters. Usually I blog every other week, but I thought this might help loosen up my writer's block and get the creative juices flowing. Not going to beat myself up for missing a few days; I work an hour's drive away and after a full day in the shop (for the last three days) plus the drive to and from, I say I earned a break each evening. So let's play a little catch-up those daily blog prompts. And if you want to see who else is participating in the blog challenge, I'll put the link below.

Day 10 - Top 5 books

I did a couple of blogs a while back listing books on the bookshelf. So narrowing it down to just my top five was a bit of a challenge. But here they are, in no particular order. (Check out the two blogs for other good books!)

Paper Pieced Modern by Amy Garro

I love the quilt on the cover; the reason I purchased the books. And there's 12 more beautiful quilt designs inside with instructions. Tons of great tips, and awesome pictures.

Modern Quilt Magic by Victoria Findlay Wolfe

VFW has an inspiring use of color. This book has several of her quilts, and is filled with her funny and witty personality.

The Quilter's Field Guide to Color by Rachel Hauser

When you're starting to really design quilts, having a firm understanding of color - value, hue, shade, light, dark - all those terms will really up your creativity. This is a great beginner's guide to color in quilting.

Lucky Spools Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making complied by Susanne Woods

A great primer into what modern quilting is, and introduction to a slew of enthusiastic modern quilters.

Walk: Master Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot by Jacquie Gering

Read this book before I even had a machine that could use a walking foot. Filled with practical advise, practices and concise pictures.

Day 11 - Most Impactful Class

In January 2020, two local guilds, Quilt North and Capital District Modern Quilt Guild, hosted Victoria Findlay Wolfe for a lecture and two classes: Double Wedding Ring and Cottage Tulips. Victoria is an absolutely delightful speaker and had the crowd laughing multiple times as she spoke about her quilting experiences. Her two classes were also filled with laughter and several sewing techniques that I use all the time. Anyone who's taken her classes will know the terms: floppy toppy and fairy fingers. But the thing I walked away with most was a catch phrase she used several times when wondering if a particular fabric would work in a design: just cut it, there's always more fabric. This and her suggestion of cutting up unwanted quilt tops and blocks really freed me from the belief that I HAVE to be perfect, or HAVE to finish a project I'm not enjoying. Great workshop experience.

Day 12 - Favorite Color

Sage Green

Look at it! So soothing and soft...

Day 13 - Least favorite color


Just not my fav... but it's my niece's favorite color so I'm slowing building it in my stash.

Alright I'm all caught up now! Time to get back to the lab and finish up my latest experiment!


Here's a few links from things mentioned above.

The Blog Challenge:

Quilt North

Capital District Modern Quilt Guild

  • cynthia concha

Back again for another blog challenge post! Today's prompt is "Favorite Tip" and since I have a hard time choosing just one, I'm tossing in a second just for fun! Let's go!

My first tip is a big one, and pretty obvious. Have an iron you love to use, and that works well for you. Because pressing is something you'll do A LOT as a quilter. I'm a huge fan of the Oliso brand. There's even a previous post on it. They're a little more on the expensive side but I find they last a long time under heavy usage. (And a few falls - I'm not exactly the most graceful person in the world.) My pink version latest over 6 years which included 5 moves, near daily usage in the last 3 years, and more than one (or twenty) dives off the ironing board.

That said, find a brand that's in your lifestyle and price range; there are many great irons out there. And you find tons of advice on which brand is best and why. Pick one that feels good to you! And if you find yourself hating your iron, dump it and get a new one. Life is too short to hate any part of the quilting process!

Tip Two - The Simple Beauty of Quarter Inch Tape

I think I go this tip from Krista Moser - an amazing designer out of Washington state; I'll add a link below.

The quarter inch seam is crucial for accurate quilting. And even for those of us who've been quilting of years can use reminders of how big or how small a quarter inch really is. That's where this tape comes in handy. Literally. Put it on your hand! Or more specifically, take a small piece and put it on your thumb nail. I'm right handed, so I put it on my left thumb nail. Now I have a reminder right there with me as I piece my top. I also have piece of tape on all my marking pens/pencils. I just did a bunch of precise pinning for a diamond pattern with lots of bias fabric cuts, and using my thumb nail instead of a bulky ruler to find that perfect quarter inch made the pinning process quick and smooth.

I hope you enjoyed my tips! Contact your local quilt shop to add these items to your quilting tool bag.

What's your favorite quilting tip? Leave a note below!

For now, I gotta get back to my quilt lab!


A few links, in case you're interested:

Check out the Blog Challenge I'm working on; lots of great bloggers here:

Krista Moser's website:

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