Hello, and welcome to my blog!
I'm Elizabeth Hartman, a professional modern quilter from Portland, Oregon. This is where I write about my various sewing and quilting projects.
This page is an attempt to answer the questions I am most often asked.
SUBSCRIBING TO MY BLOG
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I don't currently have a system available for e-mail subscription. I'm working on this, and will announce when it's available.
OTHER PLACES TO FIND ME
Modern Patchwork (2012)
I have two classes, Inspired Modern Quilts, and Creative Quilt Backs, at Craftsy.
I occasionally teach classes at Modern Domestic in Portland. Check here for current classes.
I'm @elizabethag on Instagram. Follow me there if you want to see more sewing projects, food, wine, and cats.
I'm unable to download a pdf pattern. What's happening?
Most often, the problem is that your computer isn't running the most current version of Adobe Reader, which you can download free from Adobe's site. If you've done this and are still having problems, you may need to check your computer's settings. For instance, it may seem like the file hasn't downloaded because your computer isn't programmed to automatically open files after downloading.
Sometimes, though, it's just an unexplained issue. If you're having trouble, e-mail me at orders [at] ohfransson [dot] com and we'll figure it out.
I purchased a pattern. Where is it?
The automated system sends an e-mail with a link to download the pattern as soon as a Paypal transaction is complete. In most cases, you will receive this e-mail within minutes (even seconds).
If you didn't get an e-mail, it might be because:
- Your Paypal e-mail address is not current.
- You paid via e-check. (If this is the case, your order will be sent as soon as payment clears.)
- Your e-mail server rejected the e-mail or sent it to a spam folder.
If your order hasn't arrived within a couple of hours, please e-mail me at orders [at] ohfransson [dot] com and we'll figure it out.
I purchased a pattern, but the link is not longer working. Why is this happening?
The system will only allow you to download the pattern three times. This includes viewing it on a phone or other mobile device. I recommend waiting to view the file until you're ready to save it in a safe place. If you've used up your downloads and need to have the link reactivated, please e-mail me at orders [at] ohfransson [dot] com.
Even if you plan to print out a pattern, please save the pdf file in a safe place. You may lose your printout or decide that you want to view it on a Kindle, iPad, or other mobile device.
May I distribute copies of the free patterns on your blog?
No. Please don't do this! I reserve all rights on my patterns, including those available for free download. That means you may not distribute them in electronic (e.g. via e-mail) or printed (e.g. passing them out to a class or including them in a kit) form.
I'm a shop owner. May I use your pdf patterns for a class?
Yes, but you may not distribute copies of the patterns.
If you want to use one of my patterns (free or from my shop) for a class, please ask each student to download his or her own copy and bring it to class.
I'm currently working on print versions of many of my patterns. If you're interested in hearing more about this, please e-mail me at info [at] ohfransson [dot] com.
Does this apply to pdf patterns you've written for other sites?
I'm looking for an retired pattern. Can you send me a copy?
Unfortunately, no. For various reasons, I've retired several of my older patterns. This includes Simple Modern Baby Quilts (the one with the giraffe), MORE Simple Modern Baby Quilts, and the Margaret Bag. These patterns are no longer available.
QUESTIONS ABOUT MACHINES AND QUILT MAKING
What kind of machine do you use?
I use a Janome 1600P, which is a high speed, straight stitch machine. This is the machine I use for both piecing and quilting. I do not use a longarm machine.
How do you choose a color of thread for quilting?
It depends on the project, but I usually like to match the lightest value in my composition, which is often white or ivory.
What kind of needles do you use?
I prefer Schmetz 90/14 Machine Quilting needles for machine quilting and 80/12 Microtex/Sharp needles for piecing.
How do you press your seams?
Unless the piecing requires that I do otherwise (for instance, curves or foundation piecing) I prefer to press my seams open. I think that it makes for a more polished-looking project and I find it easier to match seams precisely.
QUESTIONS ABOUT FABRIC AND QUILT CARE
Do you prewash your quilting fabric?
I used to prewash all of my quilting fabric, but I stopped because I found that it was taking a crazy amount of time and water. More importantly, I didn’t notice an appreciable difference between quilts I made with prewashed fabric and quilts I made with fabric straight off the bolt. Your results may vary, but I’ve had positive experiences with good quality quilting fabrics and consider my decision not to prewash a calculated risk that I’m willing to take.
Please note that this applies only to cotton and cotton/linen quilting fabric. I always prewash fabric for garments or quilt fabric like flannel that I know will shrink by an appreciable amount.
You often use white and bright colors together. Don’t the colors run when you wash your quilts?
I wash my quilts in cold water on gentle cycle and tumble dry them on low. I try to be very careful about moving wet quilts to the dryer as soon as the cycle is over. Leaving a wet quilt sitting in the washing machine is one of the easiest ways to cause color bleed.
If you’re concerned about colors in a quilt bleeding, consider buying Shout Color Catchers, which are available in the laundry aisle of most larger grocery stores. These look kind of like dryer sheets but they’re designed to go in the washing machine cycle and to soak up any loose dye in the wash water.
You often use cotton, cotton/linen, and linen together. If you don’t prewash, don’t your quilts shrink unevenly?
Not that I’ve noticed. Again, I wash using the gentlest machine cycle and cold water and dry on low.
QUESTIONS ABOUT BUYING AND USING FABRIC
I want to make a quilt using the same fabrics you used in one of your quilts. Will you send me a list of the fabrics you used?
I use lots of different fabrics in each of my quilts and I rarely use fabrics that are all from the same designer or collection. Making lists like this would be incredibly time-consuming, so I’ve made it my policy not to do so.
I do try to include the names of fabrics in my blog posts whenever I can. Please keep in mind that I usually write several posts about each quilt that I make, and any discussion of the fabrics used is likely to be in the earlier posts about the planning stages of the project.
How do you buy fabric?
It depends on the fabric. I like half yards because I rarely need that much of any one fabric for a project, leaving me with a nice chunk left over for my stash. If I find that I’m using scraps of the same print or solid fabric again and again, I’ll often go back and buy a larger cut before it’s no longer available.
When I’m shopping for fabric, I’m most interested in cotton solids, linen blends, and monochromatic prints. I rarely buy multicolor prints. Shopping like this, rather than by collection, has helped me to build a versatile stash that can be used for a number of projects, rather than centered around different designer collections.
But, like anyone else, I love a great print collection so, if I fall in love with one, I’ll often buy the whole thing in fat quarters.
How do you store your fabric?
I edit constantly, so I don't have a very large stash. It all fits (in folded stacks, arranged by color) on a single IKEA Billy bookcase. I keep scraps in small boxes on the lowest shelf.
Please note that my blog is about my own work. I do not accept advertising and am not paid by anyone for any of my posts. With few exceptions, I don't do book/product reviews or promotional giveaways.