Work-in-Progress Girl


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2015 Finish-A-Long Quarter 2

Finish Along Quarter 1 Dreams

So for Quarter 1 of the finish-along, I had 9 items on my list – the seven in this picture, plus a bonus two, which were Jelly Roll Race quilts made using Sunrise and Sunset Robert Kaufman jelly rolls. Here's where everything is at:

1. Brown and Green Quilt – Finished!

2. Hexagon quilt (Confetti-go-lucky) – Didn’t touch it all quarter.

3. Jelly Roll baby quilt – Didn’t start it.

4. Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt – Finished!

5. Bunny Cross-stitch Mini – Didn’t touch it.

6. Deer Economy Square Mini – Didn’t touch it.

7. Botanics Patchwork Quilt – Didn’t touch it.

8,9. Not pictured in the mosaic above, two jelly roll race quilts – Started on the Sunrise version, shown below.

April Goal - A Lovely Year of Finishes

I don’t know if you’ve ever made a jelly roll race quilt, but you sew together all the strips end to end, then basically fold that super long strip in half and sew it together down the length, and then keep on doing it until it’s longer than it is wide, proportionately. In this photo I’ve got all the strips sewn together, but since then I’ve trimmed off the extra triangles of fabric, pressed everything flat, and gotten started on sewing the strip together for the first join. It is so so so so so boring to sew.

So anyway, my goals for quarter two aren’t too different from quarter one. But I am taking a couple projects off the list – the jelly roll baby quilt and the sunset jelly roll race quilt – because I haven’t started either of them and I’m hoping to finish some of the things I’ve started – but I’m also adding a couple things. The Vintage quilt is one I’ve recently begun cutting out and the others are all swap projects that are due in the next couple months. I may as well add them here since they are things I need to finish!

1. Hexagon quilt – Need to finish quilting it, then trim and bind it.
2. Bunny Cross-Stitch – Figure out a setting to make it into a mini, then sew, baste, quilt, and bind.
3. Deer Economy Square Pot Holders – Figure out how to finish it, get three more made, sew, baste, quilt, bind.
4. Botanics Patchwork Quilt – Baste, quilt, and bind.
5. Sunrise Jelly Roll Quilt – Sew, baste, quilt, and bind.
6. Vintage Quilt – Finish cutting, sew, baste, quilt, and bind.
7. Berry Swap Mini and Dumpling Pouch – Cut, sew, etc.
8. Lizzy House Mini Swap – Cut, sew, baste, quilt, bind.
9. Cotton + Steel Mini Swap – Cut, sew, baste, quilt, bind.

Quarter II Finish Along Mosaic

The photos for the last four aren’t exactly very revealing of anything. The Vintage quilt is cut out a little further than in that photo (which also contains the book photo of Camille Roskelley’s finished quilt). The Berry Swap photo is just a paper-pieced strawberry I found on Instagram. I forgot the maker’s name! (Which is awful! Usually I save the photos for mosaics with the name intact so that I can doublecheck – I don’t know why I didn’t this time!) I don’t have any real intentions of paper piecing a strawberry for my dumpling pouch, I just haven’t quite… worked it out yet, so that’s a placeholder image for sure. The Lizzy House and C+S photos are just fabrics that may wind up involved somehow. Or may not. We’ll see where those projects go…


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Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt

Well, it’s been a lot longer than I meant to be! But I’ve got a finish to share:

Pink and Orange Quilt

I’ve finished my pink and coral and orange and black quilt made using fabrics from Fabric Spark‘s January blogger bundle, which was put together by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches. Back in January when I first got the fabrics, I talked a bit about how I found it sort of mystifying collection of colours.

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I expect it was a bit mystifying to me because I’m not generally a very big fan of pink and I don’t really like pink and orange as a combination and I don’t generally like florals and even though I think a splash of black is a good addition to almost any colour palette I sort of found it hard, mentally, to slot this much black in with such sweet colours and prints. But I decided to do something with it straight away and decided on a pattern from McCall’s America Loves Scrap Quilts Winter 2014/2015 magazine, Dutch Breeze by Susan Guzman. I didn’t follow the pattern except to see what width to cut my strips; it was designed for scraps to create a larger quilt and I didn’t want to use more than my original 12 fat quarters, so my fabric strips weren’t going to match up with the pattern in any way (other than width).

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Twelve Fat Quarters turned out 36 blocks (with very, very little fabric waste) and then I had to figure out how to make it all a little bigger and also not square. I didn’t want a square quilt or a baby quilt, but I didn’t want to add too much fabric either, so I figured out that if I used a centre block with 5×6 blocks, then I could put my remaining 6 blocks around the edges to squeeze another 16″ in width/length out. And I could do it using only 1 yard extra fabric.

Pink and Orange Quilt

It took a little creative piecing of the borders, but I did it! Originally I was going to put five blocks up in the top corner and just one in the bottom left (well, this picture is sideways, because I hung it sideways on the fence, but if you turned it clockwise to stand it on end, then this explanation would make sense…), but I would have had to piece the border fabric in chunks and this way let me use 4 panels cut to 8.5″ x 40.5″ – no extra seams necessary! (Other than adding on the blocks, of course…)

I had wanted to use one of the 12 original prints as the border fabric, but I wasn’t able to get enough from Fabric Spark of any of the prints I was leaning towards, so I wound up choosing this Honeycomb in Marmalade from Bonnie Christine’s Sweet as Honey line. This was probably the better choice in the long run, since it’s uses the colours from the bundle, but also didn’t blend in with any of the blocks that might have butted up against it around the edges. And it had a lot of white, which I thought might help tone down some of the PINK ORANGE FLORAL-ness of it. I’m not sure that it worked in that way, but I can live with that anyway.

Pink and Orange Quilt

I constructed the back using yardage of one of the prints from the front, split up with pieced together scraps left over from making the blocks. I’m not sure why, but somehow I convinced myself that the scraps strips were going to be enough seperation that it wouldn’t matter if I lined up the back when I pieced it. Hahaha no. It looks terrible! But I’m reminding myself that it’s on the back of the quilt and most of the time it’s going to be hidden. What does it matter really, in the grand scheme of it all if the back side is a bit ugly?

Pink and Orange Quilt

I tried to think of this project as a practise piece for free motion quilting, since that’s something I’m always wanting to get better at but rarely willing to really practise. I wouldn’t say I did a great job – there’s lot of little jigs and jogs and I’m not very good at regulating my speed and stitch length or the scale of my quilting.

Pink and Orange Quilt

But I tried to have fun with it. I like spirals, but it took me a while to figure out how to deal with the weird awkward bits where one spiral didn’t fill in to the next space. I’ve still got a long way to go in perfecting them, but I like how it looks finished and I’m just not going to worry too much about the bits that didn’t turn out “perfectly” (because done is better than perfect).

Pink and Orange Quilt

I bound this quilt using a black and white dot from my stash (and a little scrap of honey comb in the corner).

I still haven’t washed it, so it might shrink up a little bit yet, but I think it’s going to look good finished (even if I am a bit iffy about pink and orange still!) And I’m just glad to have it done – it wasn’t a project that should have lasted 3 months, but I guess I’m pretty good sat distracting myself!

Some quilt stats
Name: Pink and Orange Windmill Quilt
Pattern: Dutch Breeze by Susan Guzman
Size: About 56.5″ x 64.5″
Fabric: A fat quarter bundle chosen by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches, including fabrics from Cotton + Steel, Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics, and… others. The border is Bonnie Christine’s Honeycomb in Marmalade from her Sweet as Honey line.
Batting: Quilter’s Dream Wool
Thread: White Aurifil (piecing and quilting)
Backing: Amy Butler’s Pressed Flowers in Carmine from her Cameo line.
Binding: A black and white dot.

This was my March goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, so I’ll be linking up there and with Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday, hosted this week by Janet at Simply Pieced.


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A Lovely Year of Finishes: March Goal

Okay, so my goal from last month is now my goal for this month. To finish – quilted and bound – my pink and coral windmill quilt. I did get it all basted and I even started quilting it, but I got hung up somewhere along the way because I didn’t like how it was looking… and I unpicked four blocks worth of quilting. (Which was not that much, but still felt like A LOT.)

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The thing was, I was trying to do very large spirals, so that I could do one per quarter block, which is a 4-inch square space. And while it wasn’t a bad idea in theory, it’s actually pretty tough to make a spiral that big! Not just to make one that big, but to make one that big that looks good! I was ending up with a lot of squarish bits on my spirals and jerks because I had to move my hands too far to get the outer ring the right size. (It’s different when you spiral out from the centre, that’s not as tough – you just have to maintain a consistent space between quilting lines, but this is a the kind of spiral where you spiral in and then spiral back out in the empty spaces.) And it was leaving too much of a gap in the centre of the block, so out it came.

Quilting Swirls

This time I’m doing a more organic spiral, trying to fill in the spaces with different size spirals that fill at approximately the same scale. I’m not that good at it – there are bits where I forget to leave room to spiral out and so have lines nearly touching that shouldn’t at all, and then there are some bits where there’s a solid inch between quilting lines. But this is practise and I’ll never get better if I don’t just practise.

Quilting Swirls

I’m still having a pretty hard time with regulating the speed of my hands and speed of my machine… so I’ve got some giant stitches (along the lines of 1/4-inch length) and some very, very tiny ones. I have a tendancy to jerk just a little bit when I first start quilting again after I’ve paused to reposition my hands. And sometimes I panic while trying to decide where to quilt next. I’m trying to work in a fairly logical progression around the quilt (working out from the centre, essentially spiralling around that centre block), but I think just figuring out where to go next might be the hardest thing about free motion quilting.

Quilting Swirls

Seeing this quilt in the machine in the sunshine is kind of making me like this quilt again, which hasn’t always been the case. I’m bouncing back and forth with this one. I bet when it’s done I’ll like it better than I ever thought I would.

If you can see that dangling thread in this photo, that’s because I had to stop here when the bobbin thread ran out. I didn’t feel like picking back my stitches last night (so that I’d have enough thread to buy), so that’s on tap for tonight, if I ever make it off the computer and into the sewing room. But before I go, I wanted to show you some of the more amusing (to me) parts of my quilting set-up.

I sew on a cheapie kitchen table which is taller than standard with shorter than standard kitchen chairs. With the machine on the table, it’s a bit like trying to quilt with my elbows at my ears, so this is my height solution:

Quilting set-up

That would be an Ikea neck support pillow, which was too stiff for sleeping, but is remarkably comfortable for sitting on while sewing, topping a double stack of quilting books (my bum is big – one stack of books isn’t going to cut it, comfort-wise). I don’t always quilt with the pillow on top of the book pile, because it sometimes feels a bit too much like I’m hovering over everything.

Quilting set-up

These books are pushed way too far back on the chair, normally they’re up closer to the edge of the chair so that I can sit on them more comfortably. They add a nice 4 inches or so of height! Some of the books in this stack… it’s the most use they’ll ever see. But the two up top – Sunday Morning Quilts and Shape by Shape – are two of my favourite books in my quilting collection. I’m sorry author-ladies: the fact that I park my ass on your books is not a reflection of my opinion at all! It’s just an added dimension of usefulness in a pair of already magnificent books.

Quilting set-up

Since I’m lifted so far up from the floor, I also need to lift my foot-pedal up from the floor – I’m a short person, so I can’t stretch down to the floor all that comfortably. The plastic box is a rather old piece of Tupperware that I probably inadvertently stole from my mom about 15 years ago. I’ve got it turned the long way now so that there’s more space to rest my foot, but that’s the basic set-up.

The things we do for our hobbies.


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Sunday Stash: Indie and Blogger Bundles

I keep writing posts in my head, but not actually sitting down to write them. Here are a couple things I want to talk about:
– the process of quilting the project I’m working on
– why people don’t like certain colours
– why I might never go to Quiltcon (or similar, even though I’d like to)
– creativity vs artistry

Today, though, it’s just all about the fabric. I’ve had fabric coming in by the truckload lately (well, not quite…), so I guess I could talk about that, since I can’t seem to coordinate thinking about those topics up above along with actually sitting down to write. This entry will be about two of the least recent arrivals and maybe next week I’ll do another two. (And by then, I might have another truckload coming, so this burst of spendiness might last me a while in terms of Sunday Stash entries.)

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So first up is my February blogger bundle from Fabric Spark. You probably know I was a bit conflicted about the January bundle – pink and orange and coral and floral and all those things I don’t usually use or pair together – and I think I’m a little bit conflicted about this one too, though in a fairly different way.

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The colours are good, the blender prints are good. The worst I can say about these are that the blue prints are larger than I typically buy in a blender print, but that’s not exactly a bad thing. Mixing up the scale is generally a great thing!

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I’m just a precious baby who never knows what to do with multi-colour prints. Even though I can look at this bundle and see how all the parts come together… I’m just not sure I really love it that way. Maybe it needs to have a few more fabrics added in each of the colours. Or maybe this needs to be a Split It Up and Mix It Into Stash bundle. (Which is exactly what I did with every bundle I got from the Fat Quarter Shop Blogger Bundle subscription, with the exception of John Q Adams/Quilt Dad’s bundle, which I made into a quilt top that I’ve never quilted. Maybe this year will be the year.) I haven’t put it away just yet, though, I figure I should leave it out and let it sort of marinate a bit… maybe I’ll wind up finding some kind of inspiration for it somewhere.

This next batch of fabric is kind of an odd collection in my stash because it’s all sorts of things I don’t like, and in fact I don’t think I like even half the prints in the bundle and there isn’t one single fabric that, if I saw it on a bolt, I’d pick up and buy:

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But damn, do I love it anyway. Pat Bravo’s Indie collection is a mix of a million colours and prints and it’s everything I generally avoid in fabric because it’s just Too Much. And yet it all comes together in some perfect weird harmony that works even though it shouldn’t. Every time I see the collection all together, I just want it completely and so finally I bought it.

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Of this lot, I think the red and green prints on the bottom right are probably my favourite. (Also, notice they’re probably the calmest of the prints I’ve shown.)

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Too much! But I just love the overall vibe of it. I love the richness of the colours. I think it’s got a Bohemian feel. It’s just perfect in some way that I can’t really articulate.

I am hoping to make the same quilt with these fabrics as I’m working on with my first blogger bundle from Fabric Spark; it’s a windmill type block and I think it’s one that will work well with all those crazy fabrics. The only thing is that if I want to use all the Fat Quarters in the bundle, then I needed another five fabrics to make the quilt a decent size. Each fat quarter can create 3 blocks, so I also bought 5 Art Gallery solids, so that I’ll have enough to make 72 blocks, resulting in quilt about 64″ x 72″ in size.

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If I remember right, I picked up Art Gallery Pure Elements in Honey, Fresh Water, Apricot, Nocturnal, and Spiceberry. And since this quilt will be all Art Gallery fabrics on top, I’m really going to need to get a AG backing too. I’m leaning a little toward the floral in the large photo above (probably in blue), but we’ll see what happens. I suspect in the long run I’ll be more interested in finding something a bit cheap, rather than having to order from the US (and pay shipping and exchange and possibly taxes/duty as well), so I might just get whatever Art Gallery fabric is a decent match that is sold by anyone in Canada.

Linking up belatedly to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.


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The Pink and Orange Quilt

So I’m kind of at a boring stage in the making of things… by which I mean I’m putting the top of a quilt together, but it’s not really much fun to show because it’s kind of neither here nor there right now.

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Right now the sort of… central body of the quilt is in three parts. That’s two of them, pinned together and ready to be sewn. It’s been sitting on my table for a couple days because it’s been so cold and miserable that I haven’t felt like sewing (and have only felt like taking hot baths and/or sleeping and/or cooking warming things like stew and Cuban Smashed Potatoes), but I’m determined to get at least that centre part sewn together by Thursday afternoon.

I really need to press that again, but that Best Press is actually not scent free and smells so bad that I hate using it. (I feel like my lungs are full of the stuff every time I use it, even if I only use it very, very lightly.)

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And here is the other third of the blocks of this quilt, along with the borders, which are as thick as the blocks are themselves! It’s going to have a… non-standard setting, in a way, which lead to the exceptionally wide (for me) borders. I don’t love big borders… I never know how to quilt them. But I think I’m just going to do the same all over quilt job, borders, blocks and all. This isn’t really a quilt that I think I’m going to love – when I see individual blocks I like them and I basically like all the fabrics involved and I like the block pattern that I chose, but I find the colours overwhelming when they’re all laid out together pink! coral! orange! floral! – so I’m thinking of it as good practise and I’m going to use it to practise quilting spirals. Just a pretty basic spiral type thing. I need to watch some more Craftsy classes and find one of the ones where Leah Day shows how she does them.

Anyway, here I am talking about it:

You won’t learn anything from that video that I haven’t already told you, at least I don’t think so, but I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be more interesting(ish?) in person?

Linking up to many and various WIP Wednesday type link-ups: Work in Progress Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced, Let’s Bee Social with Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, and WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network.


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A Lovely Year of Finishes: February Goal

So before I get to my goal for February for ALYoF, I need to wrap up my giveaway from my January goal – the brown and lime hashtag quilt.

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My winner (via Random.org) of 42 charm squares (cut from my scraps! and a close match to my hashtag quilt!) was Leanne Parsons of Devoted Quilter. I had to laugh a little about that because Leanne was the host of Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday in that week and she popped over to thank me for linking up. Leanne is apparently from Newfoundland, one of only 2 provinces in Canada that I haven’t visited! (The other being PEI. Sorry island provinces! One day I’ll get there!) I lived in Nova Scotia for 2 years (ten years ago… ack!) and kick myself for not having travelled more when I was in the approximate neighbourhood!

Anyway, February Goal!

My February goal is to finish up this windmill quilt using the January blogger bundle from Fabric Spark, curated by Jolene at Blue Elephant Stitches.

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I’ve got just 12 blocks left to finish and all they need is to have their last seam stitched up! After that I need to cut my borders, plan my layout and get the top put together. I’m not working this weekend (in theory! I’ve had a supremely frustrating work week, having stayed 11 hours on two days and now I’ll be going in for at least 4 hours on a sixth day – but I’m going to go in early this evening so that I can come home and sleep before it’s too stupid late and then at least I’ll still have Saturday and Sunday during the day for myself).

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I had planned to use one of the fabrics from the top (actually, that floral print in the finished block above) for the border, but Fabric Spark didn’t have quite enough left, so I wound up choosing the honeycomb fabric, which combined the pinks and oranges that were prevalent throughout the bundle. I’m hoping it won’t be too white for a large border, but if it is…. oh well. This quilt is getting done using what I’ve got one way or another! The large scale print below the honeycomb print is going to be the backing fabric, though I’m hoping to break up the backing a little bit with a narrow row of pieced scraps – I’m going to use as much of that original bundle of fabric as I possibly can! And finally, that Denyse Schmidt print on the bottom was meant to be the binding. When I ordered it, I had forgotten that it’s an off-white print, rather than a pure white one, so I’m not sure if I’ll wind up using it. I LOVE that print, but I don’t want it to look like a dirty line around the edge of my quilt (which, let’s not forget is being bordered with that very white heavy honeycomb!) so it might get swapped out for something whiter or something blacker. We’ll see what I’ve got in my stash.

For once I even have a quilting plan! And because I enjoy this quilt but don’t love it in some devastating way where I can’t bear to ruin it with crappy quilting, I’m even going to try something new. This quilt isn’t meant for anyone and I think it’s always easier to be a bit free with things when it’s kind of…. meaningless in a way. If that makes sense?


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Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I finished a thing! And this thing was both my A Lovely Year of Finishes January goal AND my first project on my Finish Along Quarter One list!

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

This photo was just for my sister who, when I was lamenting the lack of clean outdoor places to photograph this quilt, suggested that I use her fresh-from-the-car-wash car as a backdrop. There was too much sun, but the car was nice and clean… The quilt, too, was sort of for my sister. She commissioned it for a friend of hers who was having her first baby. The new parents didn’t know if they were having a boy or a girl, so they were doing their nursery in browns and lime greens, and so that was my only requirements for the quilt. I gave my sister a few options of things I wouldn’t mind to try making, and she choose the one I was rooting for all along, a pattern published in the Spring 2014 edition of Fons and Porter’s Scrap Quilts magazine called 42 Hashtags by Tanya Finken of Squares and Triangles.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

The original version was made with 42 charm squares plus a little over 1.5 yards of white fabric – I made mine with 2 yards of some random brown in my stash (I think it was a Kona cotton, but I’m not sure) and 42 self-cut charms. I pulled all my fabrics except one out of my scrap drawer, leaning as much as possible on lime and grellow sorts of colours, but with a little bit of sky blue, darker greens, and some yellow mixed in as well.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

Fourteen of the blocks are made with a solid background rather than a print, which I think gives that hashtag centre of the quilt a bit of a twinkliness, as silly as that sounds. It just changes the way your eye moves around, somehow.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

Even though it’s a baby quilt, I didn’t want to have too many children’s prints involved. There are a few novelty-type prints to give a nod to the fact that it is a baby quilt, but otherwise it’s just dots and stripes and other mostly geometric prints. These few animals and the airplane are all I’ve got in that line of things! (And aren’t those sheep from Laurie Wisbrun just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?)

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I quilted this very simply so that it would remain soft and drapey, creating two sort of ribboned lines horizontally through each row of hashtags, plus through the borders. If I’d had enough time, I’d have done the same thing vertically, but I was a little short, so I did the vertical borders as well, so that it created a row of hashtags down the sides of the quilt. After that, I went back into the centre of the quilt and added vertical quilting lines to each of the blocks with the brown background, so that they have a completed ribbon hashtag, while the rest of the quilt just has the horizontal quilting. I used a green variegated thread, so that I didn’t have to try to colour match the variety of colours in the hashtags. I kind of like the green quilting on the brown – it gives it a little lift where otherwise it’d be a too big, too brown expanse of fabric.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I backed the quilt in a flannel with elephants to tie in with the elephant block on the front of the quilt. Colourwise, it doesn’t match my binding very well, which was largely done with that awesome plaid of Denyse Schmidt’s Chicopee line, but to be honest I don’t really care. I love how the binding looks on the front and the flannel feels nice on the back. That’s good enough! It’s not visible in this particular photo, but one corner of the binding was done in the same solid brown as the majority of the front.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

I really love this quilt and it was the tiniest bit hard to give up. I may have to make another, larger one some day. Love.

Some quilt stats
Name: I mostly call it the Brown and Lime Hashtag quilt, but that’s because I’m never creative with names.
Pattern: 42 Hashtags by Tanya Finken
Size: About 39″ x 43.5″
Fabric: Assorted green, yellow, and blue prints, with a Kona cotton background, which I think is Espresso, but I can’t find my colour card to doublecheck.
Backing: Cheapie green and white elephant flannel
Binding: Denyse Schmidt’s Simple Plaid in Lime from Chicopee

Posting a #fridayfinish on my blog today about my green and brown hashtag quilt... Love these fabrics I put into it!

So if you made it all the way to the bottom of this ridiculously long post,.. you can be entered to win 42 charms in lime, grellow, green, yellow, and blue fabrics, all cut straight from my stash! They’re not an exact match to the 42 from my quilt, because some of them I didn’t have enough fabric to make two charms, but there are 42, which is enough to make this quilt (or something like it!) for yourself. If you’d like to be entered to win, just leave a comment telling me what you might do with these charms if you won them. (I’m perfectly okay with you saying, “I have no idea!” or that you’d filter them into your own scrap stash to be used as you find the perfect place for them.) [Edited to add: please don’t add this to any sites that compile lists of giveaways. I don’t care who enters my giveaways – they’re open to anyone – but I prefer they go to someone who is reading this because of a link-up I’ve joined or because they just read my blog, rather than because they’ve hit on a site that links them all up.]

Also, edited to add: I forgot to say when I’d do the drawing! All entries need to be in by Thursday, February 5 – I’ll do the drawing when I get home from work on Friday morning.


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Sunday Stash

This post has taken me a ridiculously long time to write – I spent half my day fighting with lighting and colour of the photos, as you’ll see below. Most of these fabrics came from Sew Sisters via a gift card from the very lovely Michelle at Factotum of Arts. Michelle had a giveaway for her top commentors and I was one of them! She gave me a gift card to a Canadian shop so that I wouldn’t have to worry about the shipping costs – how sweet was that?

Sew Sisters was one of the first sites to have Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe fabric in stock… but somehow I managed to avoid buying it from there and instead spent the card mostly on discounted fabrics. (You get a lot more that way…)

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On the left is natural light in the morning, from the north east and then on the right is natural light in the afternoon, from the south west. Neither of which is remotely close to the real thing.

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I started trying different settings in my camera, to see if I could sort something out. The left is was “vivid colours” – that bit of carpet left in the photo is actually beige, so you can imagine how much effect there was on the fabric colours. And yet it’s still not as egg-yolk yellow as the actual fabric should look. On the right was a “snowy scene” setting on my camera and it’s the closest I managed to come up with.

I don’t even know how the same piece of fabric could come out so wildly different! Anyway, it’s a Living Elements fabric from Art Gallery Fabrics, and if you go here to their website you can find their picture, “Old Yellow,” which is certainly a better representation.

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When I’m buying fabric without a specific purpose in mind (buying a certain line because I like it or buying for a particular project), I tend to look for fabrics that will fill gaps in my stash – colours I don’t have a lot of or print types that I don’t tend to buy. Considering the size of my fabric collection, I have a surprisingly small amount of orange fabrics, so that’s how this print from My Sunshine by Zoe Pearn wound up in the purchase.

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This orange wasn’t from Sew Sisters, I forget where I bought it, but it’s adding to the orange collection too. This one is from Petal and Plume by Bari J. Really great print.

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But back to the Sew Sisters fabrics, here’s a bit of Pepe in Paris from Riley Blake Designs. I picked it up in two different colourways. I was drawn first to the blue one, below, but I liked this low volume version of it too. The one downfall I would say is that the print is quite large, so I think it’d be hard to really showcase the print in a quilt. It’ll work just fine in small pieces, but it’d be harder to show off the whole row of houses.

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Anyway, I really love it in blue. I should have photographed the selvedge – it’s so cute on this line! The colour marks (why can’t I think what those things are called?) are of a little man in a beret. So cute.

I also picked up a bit of sale priced Carolyn Friedlander, from her older lines Botanics and Architextures. This blue didn’t come out so well in the photograph. It’s a tough one to capture:

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Just like the yellow print, I tried photographing this one in a few different locations and levels of sunlight. It just didn’t take well to photographs. I probably already had some of this (I haven’t put it away yet, so I haven’t even checked!) but Botanics is such a great line and it’s so usable in pretty much everything. So you know. Why not? Despite my enormous collection of blue fabrics, I don’t have a ton of dark blues. Actually dark anything – dark orange, darker yellows, dark purples, etc. This one is probably a bit of a medium blue, but it’s still darker than my usual sky blues and aquas.

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These stripes are some of the best low volume fabrics out there. Love love them.

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And of course a bit of text fabric from Architextures.

I think I’d also got some Aurifil thread, but I can’t remember where I put it, so I didn’t photograph that!

Anyway, it was a pretty good fabric shop. I don’t really love Sew Sisters that much – their fabric focus just doesn’t line up that closely with mine (which is fine, I’m sure there are hundreds of quilters who’d turn their noses up at my favourite fabrics) and their website is also unwieldy at best. I think I’ve been spoiled by sites like Fabric Spark and Mad About Patchwork and Hawthorne Threads that let you search in several different ways – colour, designer, fabric line, etc. Anyway, they do have enough bits and bobs I like that I’ve bought from them a handful of times – most recently during a 20% off yardage sale (which might not be over yet, depending when I get this entry posted), when I ordered a few metres of some Kona cottons and a little bit of Cherie fabric – and I’m certain I’ll be back again in the future (especially with the Canadian dollar so low – I don’t see myself buying from American sites, anyway!).

Anyway, I’d shown an orange print above, which didn’t come from Sew Sisters, and when I bought it, I also picked up a few dark blues. (I forgot where I got it from! They were all in the same plastic bag though.)

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This is one of Art Gallery Fabrics new Prisma Elements fabrics. It’s got a metallic silver print over the blue. Very pretty! I like that the metallic is pretty minimal – I find it makes for slightly stiffer and less comfortable feeling fabrics when it’s applied too heavily.

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This is Metro Living Diamonds in Navy. I’ve had a few different Metro Living prints over the years and they’re always great. And good solid colours – navy, orange, red, etc.

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And finally we’ve got Deco Geo in Navy from Michael Miller. Another good navy, though there’s a lot of white in that print.

So that’s kind of an enormous collection of fabric being added to my shelves instead of taken away… I almost hate to add up the yardage and see what it comes to!

Linking up with the always fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. (Link and blog button on the right.)


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Talk to Me Tuesday: 20 January 2015

My first Talk to Me Tuesday video of the year! I spent most of my time talking about the various projects on my Finish Along Quarter 1 list, but also showed a few more blocks for my Gypsy Wife quilt and some new blocks for an eventual Granny Square quilt. It’s a bit of a ramble.


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Finish Along Quarter 1 – Just wishin’ and hopin’…

Okay, so I guess it’s time I finally buckle down and make a list for the Finish Along hosted for 2015 by Adrianne at On the Windy Side. A lot of people whose blogs I follow have done the Finish Along in the past, but I’ve never participated before. I’m not really great at setting or keeping goals, I’m a slow sewist, and I don’t like feeling guilty when I don’t succeed (and I’m good at feeling guilty), but I decided to go for it this year. I also decided to just go ahead and make some (for me) wild goals because if they’re wild, then maybe I won’t be so bothered about it if I don’t succeed.

Finish Along Quarter 1 Dreams

So to that end, I’m posting 7 projects for my 1st quarter finish-along goals!

1. Brown and Green Hashtag Quilt. A sweet baby girl (just born!) will be receiving this quilt. It still needs to be basted, quilted, and bound. But I have plans for that and they should be achievable soon. (I’m not working this weekend, I already know how I’m going to quilt it, and the only decision left to make is what to bind it with.)

2. Confetti Go Lucky Quilt. This quilt will be for my mom. It’s partially quilted, but I gave up working on it sometime before Christmas when my Juki machine started squeaking like mad. (I took the machine into the shop and they ran it for 20 minutes with no squeaks. What the actual fuck? Anyway, I’m hoping to pick it back up again this weekend. If it squeaks, I will cry. And then record it so that I have evidence!) Anyway, I need to finish quilting, then I need to bind it. There’s more than half to go. I’d like to get it finished early in February.

3. Easter Cross-Stitch. This was meant to be a Christmas gift for my Mom, but I didn’t figure out how to convert the cross-stitched panel (stitched by my sister) into the wall-hanging I wanted it to be. Once I sort out how I want to get it done, it should be an easy finish, but I’m so very, very good at putting things off.

4. Economy Block Minis. I have a series of three or four minis that revolve around that economy/square in square block. I’ve been “working on” that project since… round about March last year. I’d like to have it done by the end of January. There is still more sewing, then basting, quilting, binding to be done.

5. Botanics Patchwork. This super simple quilt will be for me. I’m torn between doing a kind of orange peel quilting and using this quilt to practise a million and one FMQ patterns. Probably I’ll go with the orange peel plan, though. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

6. January Blogger Bundle Subscription Quilt. I’ve got fabric and a pattern and plans to turn that interesting little bundle of fabric into a quilt top. I don’t have plans for that quilt (ie. no plans for a recipient), but I still want to try it out.

7. A Field Guide Baby Quilt. This will likely be a charity quilt – I originally bought the fabric with that in mind, so it seems like a great way to go! I’m not sure the fabric and that pattern are really meant to go together – there’s not a lot of contrast in the fabrics and the pattern relies on a certain amount of contrast to create the pattern… but I want to give it a shot anyway. Maybe. I think we’ll see when I finally pull the jelly roll apart and start trying to make blocks with it.

8/9. Okay, this isn’t pictured, but if I’m going with a go-big-or-go-home goal list, All Solids Jelly Roll Race. No photo because the fabric is en route. This is all down to Michèle-Renée (or should I say M-R? I’m one of those people who doesn’t really use nicknames, if I meet you as a “William” I will call you that till the end of time, even if everyone else in the world calls you Bill… so once I know a “real” name, the nicknames tend to fall by the wayside in my head) who recently posted this all-solids jelly roll race quilt on her blog, Quilt Matters. I’d never liked a jelly roll race quilt until I saw that one, and then Pam at Mad About Patchwork put her Kona Sunrise and Sunset roll-ups on sale for January, so you know… I bought one of each, because CLEARLY I need a matched set of sunrise and sunset jelly roll quilts. So…. yeah, there’s two more extras.

So, nine goals. Truly I’ll be happy if I get the first four items finished, but anything else would be amazing too, so here’s to goal-making!

And now… I should really go sew.

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