Work-in-Progress Girl


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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.

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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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Sew My Stash 2015 (and add to it a little…)

So if you’re on Instagram you’ve probably seen a dozen or more reposted SewMyStash2015 pics in the last couple weeks – down on the right somewhere is the image I’m talking about. It’s an idea started up by Leasa of Project: Leasa. Every year there is some variation on the theme – last year was the (failed, in my case) six month fabric fast. The idea, always, being to use more and buy less. Last year I discovered that I really don’t react well to being told No, because as soon as I said No to myself, I just started buying wildly every time I turned around. What I like about Sew My Stash is that it’s focused more on doing rather than on not doing, if that makes sense. It doesn’t say Just Say No to new fabric, it says Try to Use What You’ve Got. I probably appreciate the distinction a little more because it means I can still buy 2.5 metres of Denyse Schmidt’s Simple Plaid from Chicopee if I want to…

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Granted, I might not have bought it if I’d realized it was going to come in five pieces. I bought this from a new-to-me Canadian shop called Flare Fabrics. When I was piecing together my hashtag quilt top, I had this moment of fear that there was going to be Too Much Brown and so I started thinking about fabrics I thought would make good borders. I settled on that plaid from Chicopee and went looking online for someone in Canada who was selling it. Google lead me to Flare Fabrics, which is a shop that focuses on batiks, but had a small selection of Denyse Schmidt prints and 2.5 metres of that very plaid in stock. When I was looking around their site, I did notice a few different fabrics that specified that the last x-number metres were pre-cut into 1/2 metres, but if it was mentioned with this particular fabric, I sure didn’t notice it. Thank goodness I didn’t buy it hoping for a backing fabric – can you imagine trying to piece 5 cuts of the same fabric into one sheet of not-too-terribly mismatched plaid?

Anyway, I also picked up an embroidery kit, which I didn’t photograph, and this quilt pattern, which is a chevron pattern I can get behind.

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I don’t ever foresee myself making a chevron quilt out of half square triangles. It’s not that they don’t look nice, but I suppose I’ve just seen a few too many. I thought this one was an interesting take on the chevron idea, though I’m not sure how keen I am on working with 60 degree half-rectangles.

Anyway, Sew My Stash has also not stopped me from joining up with Fabric Spark‘s Blogger Bundle subscription for the year. I dithered about joining it for a little while because I’d been signed up for Blogger Bundles from Fat Quarter Shop ages ago and quit when I had to request that I not be sent a couple bundles in a row – someone had put together a bundle that was 90% one line, plus the few solids (I forget how those bundles worked exactly, 12 prints and 3 solids? 9 prints and 3 solids?) and if I’d wanted 9 prints from that line, I’d have just bought the whole line, you know? – and when I hit the third “give it a miss” month, I decided I should just give the whole thing a miss and stop hoping it’d be something good.

But I did sign up for Fabric Sparks and this is the first month’s bundle, curated by Jolene of Blue Elephant Stitches:

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I find it both mystifying and intriguing. I’m not remotely sure if I like it, but I am curious to see if I can put those 12 fabrics together and come up with something I like.

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It’s obvious what the through-line is with these – the colours in all the prints can be found in that one floral in the centre. But that chartreuse green sure does get over-powering in this grouping. I keep reminding myself that once it’s all cut up and sewed back together, those bright splashes of green will pull the eye around in a good way, but laid out like this I can’t help but wish I’d put it underneath something so that so much of it couldn’t jump out and over-power these peachy pink tones.

Where it gets weird, but also intriguing for me, is the addition of the blacks.

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I don’t, by and large, have an issue with putting black in with florals. I think a little bit of black gives a good contrast in a quilt and it can help ground things and blah blah blah. It maybe feels like a lot of black, instead of just a little bit? Maybe too much. I don’t know. What I do know is that in the spirit of Sew My Stash, I’ve already got an idea for sewing this brand new part of my stash. A magazine I recently bought has a pattern that I think could work well and would maybe make the most of that too bright green and maybe once I see it all paired together, I’ll even like all that black and white in the mix. So I guess I should get to working on that… or maybe to finishing something else, so that I can justify starting something new!

I haven’t decided if I’m going to track my fabric purchases vs use for real… but if I manage to make a quilt top with that bundle of fabrics before the year is out, I’m counting it as a neutral in the great fight to use more and buy less. I could add three yards and take three right back out of the tally for the year. It’d practically be like I hadn’t bought it at all.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.


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A Lovely Year of Finishes: January 2015

I often lose too much of the month with these things by dithering until the last second before deciding what my goal will be, and by then I’ve lost a week of time I could have spent sewing! But I only really have one big goal this month, and that’s to finish my 42 Hashtag baby quilt that my sister commissioned for a co-worker friend who is having a baby. If you follow me on Instagram (@clumsychord), you’ll have probably hit your tolerance level for how many times you want to see the unfinished bits of this quilt…

Forty-Two hashtags, finally. #sewmystash2015

but here is a little more. To be honest, in the last couple days I did get the entire quilt top pieced, but I’m very reluctant to show it because I want to just show the finished piece, when I finally get it there, instead of spoiling it by showing the whole thing now!

43 Hashtags

The mama of the baby this is intended for doesn’t know if she is having a boy or a girl, so she did the nursery mostly in lime greens and browns. So my sister asked for that and then I dug around in my solids stash for a good brown (with enough quantity – I don’t tend to stash a lot of 2 yard cuts of solid fabric in anything but black or white!) and fished around in my green scraps for fabrics large enough to cut 5-inch charms. I wanted to get a good blend of greens, leaning as much toward lime as possible (though I think I tended to hit grellow more – you know, that yellow-green colour that’s kind of like chartreuse I suppose), and then I wanted also to add in a little bit of sky blue and some yellow, just to make sure there was a bit of depth and interest.

43 Hashtags

Piecing all these hashtag blocks together, I noticed that I’ve got a metric ton of dot and… dot-adjacent fabrics. So very many dots!

43 Hashtags

Anyway, the goal for this month is just to get this little thing finished. All that’s left at this point is basting, quilting, and binding. And it’s a pretty small quilt, so it shouldn’t take too long. As always, it’s the basting that’s holding me up. I do love to avoid that particular nightmare as long as possible… but needs must. So my next day off work, that’s going to be my goal – basting. And then after that I think I’ll fly through it. I’ve got a fairly simple plan for the quilting (since my good machine is still in the shop and I don’t want to rely on having it back soon enough to use) so once I get it going, it should be a pretty quick project. And then binding and it’ll be done!

I’m really loving this quilt. I mean, usually I have a half dozen things to point out and say that I’d change this or I’d change that, but assuming all goes well, this one should just be a straight up pat-myself-on-the-back quilt. I need to get it done because I’m just actually kind of excited to show it to everyone!

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes, WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network, WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.


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Sunday Stash: Lime Flannel

So if you follow me on Instagram (@clumsykristel), you’ll know I’ve been working on some brown and green hashtag blocks. They’re going to be put together into a baby quilt for a friend of my sister who is having her first baby… sometime soon. She doesn’t know if she’s having a boy or a girl, but has been doing things up in browns and lime greens, so that was the direction my sister asked me to angle in. I love backing baby blankets in flannels, so I was fortunate to already have a flannel in my stash that I thought would work perfectly…

Flannel

This fabric is Erin McMorris’s Birds from Irving Street (if Irving Street is the name of this fabric line – it’s really tough to read the printing on the selvedge). I also have another chunk of it in yellow, which is pretty awesome too. But I’d kind of forgotten about the pink… We were going to go ahead with it anyway because even if she has a boy, what’s a little pink the grand scheme of things? And if you follow many fabric loving people on Instagram, you know there’s a big push to use stash fabric this year (tied to the hashtag #SewMyStash2015) and I was kind of excited about this because the whole thing was going to be made from stash – all the fabric on the front is straight off my shelves (and scrap bins) and of course this flannel was too. But I went to the fabric store for thread. And that was my downfall, because you know what I found at the fabric store? Fabric. Fabric without pink in it. And it was 50% off, so who can walk away from that?

Flannel

I’d been wanting this Ann Kelle flannel for a long time, but didn’t buy it because I didn’t have a use for it. But now I do! Sure, it’s floral, but what’s a little floral in a (potential) little boy’s life? Not much. But I was pretty sure my sister wouldn’t like it, so I had to pick up a second choice too. Give her some options, you know?

Flannel

My sister likes cute things for little kids (which I usually don’t – I generally avoid children’s prints though I have got a few), so when I found this elephant flannel, I sort of figured she’d prefer it to both the floral and the birds. And she did. I try not to buy these cheaper flannels because they shrink at a greater rate and are far more shred-happy than the nicer flannels you get from the bigger companies (the birds are FreeSpirit and the floral is Robert Kaufman), but I just bought a little extra and if I need to seam it, I’ll probably make a wider seam allowance than I usually would, just to combat possible shredding. Anyway, it’ll be a cute addition to the quilt (and there’s one hashtag block with elephants, so you know… it fits). Now I just need to focus (and get my Juki back from the shop) and get it quilted up so it’ll be ready for the baby shower.

Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles.

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