Work-in-Progress Girl

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Mailbag: Ballet Bag and Denyse Schmidt fabric

Practise Crochet by clumsy chord
Practise Crochet, a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

I live with my sister and her husband, who right now are in Russia for a few weeks vacation/family visit, and although I lived on my own for a long while before moving to Calgary, I’m starting to get a bit lonely and bored being here alone. I guess I’ve gotten used to having people in the house to go and bug when I need a break. My brain’s been kind of stuttering around a dozen different things and I haven’t been focussing much on anything – I’ve worked a little bit on three different quilting projects, and I somehow got the notion to relearn to crochet.

I haven’t crocheted in years and years, but back then I decided I only wanted one expensive crafting hobby, and I settled on quilting. (Quilting might be more expensive, but it feels cheaper because I don’t typically buy all the fabric for a project at one time, so the expense gets spread out. Crochet, on the other hand, you need to be sure of having all one dye lot, so buying a bunch of it at once can be a bit of a shock. More so when I was still a student working for $9/hr.) Still, I’ve got all the stuff around for crochet, including all the yarn I bought but never used and hooks in every size imaginable, so I went and dug out some stuff, looked for a tutorial on YouTube and made a dish cloth.

This one is just single crochet on repeat and it’s pretty clear I need to work on my tension a bit – it’s skinnier in the middle, before I noticed that I was tightening it up and started getting back to a looser stitch. I can’t remember how to finish the ends, so I haven’t clipped the thread yet. Or done anything with it at all since deciding it was big enough.

You can’t see it, but the thread is leading off to a bag, which is stuffed full of two different skeins of yarn and a couple hooks…

SonnetoftheMoon's Ballet Bag

This bag I won from a giveaway put on by the lovely Crystal/Sonnet of the Moon (Blog here) for her Ballet Bag, which as you can see is made of a really adorable Farmdale print and also a Denyse Schmidt print, one of the dot fabrics on sale now at Joanne’s in the US and somewhere or other in Australia and nowhere in Canada (except Etsy, I guess), which you can’t see. But if you go here, you can see some much nicer shots of the bag (I photographed mine at night in a dark room – yay flash photography! – and couldn’t see where I was aiming the camera) and if you go here Sonnet of the Moon has written a great tutorial on how to make your very own reversible ballet bag. Or yarn-toting bag, if you’re not carrying around ballet slippers and tights.

Denyse Schmidt dots

She also sent me a couple pieces of the dot fabric from that DS line, the name of which I can’t recall, and they’re pretty fantastic. This is my favourite print from the line, so it’s pretty great that she included them with the bag. I was really excited to get this package in the mail, and it was such fun to open. It was all perfectly wrapped up in layers of white tissue paper and even though I knew it was coming, it felt like I was opening something mysterious and exciting. Thanks a million times over, Crystal!


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Fabric Friday: Joel Dewberry

I’m too lazy and tired to look up the name of these prints – I ordered them on the off-chance they’d match my Mendocino/Mod-Times quilt so that I could use a print for the back rather than a solid (no way do I have enough Mendocino to go using it for a backing fabric). Not a match though, a little too plum in the purple and a little too green in the aqua.

I should really be sleeping – I worked a night shift last night and I work one tonight – but I got woken up by a co-worker calling me to gleefully recount the day’s news: our boss is retiring in a couple weeks. I can’t seem to fall back to sleep, but I really, really need to sleep.

One of these days I’ll even update with something other than Fabric Friday. I have much more interesting things to talk about – some brilliant mail that arrived yesterday, the Mod Times quilt, other WIPs – but it’ll have to wait for another day when I’m not so tired.

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Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day

It’s Giveaway Day at Sew Mama Sew. If you want to sign up for some giveaways, there are three posts with bazillions of links:
1 – Hand-crafted Item(s) + Supplies/Materials
2 – Sewing/Knitting Supplies/Materials
3 – Hand-crafted Item(s)

I wanted to participate this go around, but I forgot it was coming and didn’t remember to sign up until it was too late. So I think I’ll just wait and do a giveaway when I get to my 50th Talk to Me Tuesday video or else when it’s my birthday (end of August). Whichever comes first.

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Fabric Friday: Amy Butler or Kona cotton?

Mod Times: Ironing. Ugh. by clumsy chord

It’s the Kona Grape and Aqua that’ll be part of a quilt that I’m working on, which is part of the Mod Times Quilt-Along. A lot of people who participated are already done their quilt tops, but I’ve still got a stack of these to iron, then I need to sew the cross-piece in between (most of) them and then I can start piecing the top. This quilt is one made by the woman who is running the quilt-along, and is basically what mine will look like, though I’m making mine significantly bigger (almost 4 times the size).

And this is what my print bits will look like:
Mendocino Mod Time Quilt Along

The aqua in the cross-pieces will lighten up the darkness of the purple (a lot) and I’m really excited to see what it’ll look like finished.

But I’m SO very not excited to go on ironing. I am usually a very haphazard ironer, which I know stretches the fabric and makes for wonky shapes where wonky shapes should not be, but I’m trying very hard to be careful with these. I’m even blocking them as I press to make sure they’re the right size. Which I’m doing basically because this entire quilt is pieced with inset seams, and I find that slightly scary enough without my pieces not fitting where they belong because I’ve stretched them out of shape.

I’m hoping to get started on piecing the top this weekend (since I’m off Saturday/Sunday AND my sister and bro-in-law are leaving for Russia on Saturday, so I won’t even have to worry about being noisy while they’re sleeping or any of the other reasons I sometimes put off sewing till later. I’ve gotten quite a few more pressed since I took the photo, about 70 are done with 30 or 40 left to go. (I forget how many I started with, a lot though.)

(The Amy Butler is home decor weight Coreopsis in Spruce from the August Fields line.)

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Fabric Friday: Munki Munki Elephants

Munki Munki Elephants by clumsy chord
Munki Munki Elephants a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

Well, it’s a day late, but I was sleeping most of the day on Friday and I just never quite got around to it…

Today’s Fabric Friday is a piece of Munki Munki marching elephants that I got in a scrap pack I bought on Etsy. It’s the sleeve of a pair of women’s pajamas, and about 10″ x 12″ (it’s wider at the bottom, about 12″ wide, and has a line of holes where stitching was picked out). It’s really not so dark as it looks, but it’s very thin fabric and the black table I photographed it against really shows through.

I don’t think I’ll ever use it, so I think I’m probably going to post it in a swap community on Flickr and see if I can get something else in exchange.

Cute though.

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Fabric Friday: Mod Times Mendocino Quilt-Along

It’s hard to imagine that these stacks of fabrics will actually make a quilt, but that’s 65″ x 83″ worth of quilt top.

There are fifty rectangles and eight squares of Mendocino fabric. Three hundred thirty-six squares and rectangles in aqua. Three hundred ninety-three rectangles of purple.

If anyone is quilting along (Mod Times Quilt-Along) and wants to make their quilt larger, this is what I decided to do. I’m making mine nine columns across and six rows down, with no changes to the size of the pieces. It should come out about 65″ x 83″.

From the print fabric, you need:
50 @ 3.5 x 7.5
08 @ 3.5 x 3.5
From the border fabric:
049 @ 1.5 x 9.5
100 @ 1.5 x 7.5
108 @ 1.5 x 5.5
016 @ 1.5 x 3.5
120 @ 1.5 x 2.5
From the background fabric:
240 @ 2.5 x 4.5
096 @ 2.5 x 2.5

I very much hope that I got the numbers right when I was figuring out what to cut – I don’t have very much spare purple and what what left I cut into 2.5″ strips for binding. I really want to finish the quilt with that purple framing the edge, but I don’t know if I’ll have enough length left to do the entire way around. I may have to piece it with other scraps or to use some aqua (I do have a fair chunk of that left). I could try buying more of the purple, but I don’t recall what colour it was and I’d be concerned about dye lot anyway. (Looking at the inventory at Simply Solid Fabric, where I bought it from, I think it might be Kona Raisin, but it could be Hibiscus or Dark Violet or some other very deep, dark purple.)

It took me a few hours today to cut all of that, and now my legs are tired, cramped, and sore, and I’ve got a headache to end all headaches. But hopefully I’ll get started sewing tomorrow, because I’m excited to see what it’ll look like.

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Talk to Me Tuesday #44: Works in Progress

In which I show off my Firefly shirt, show a bundle of black binding for a quilt, and talk about starting another quilt-along, the Mod Times Quilt-Along.

I very often record my TTMT videos on a Wednesday, as this one was. I was having problems with Windows Live Movie Maker crashing my computer though, so I wasn’t able to save it until this morning and get it uploaded. (When it was at 99% recorded I thought for sure it was going to crash again – my laptop SOUNDED like it was slowing down, about to turn off, which was what had been happening – but fortunately it didn’t.)

Here’s a usable link to the Mod Times Quilt-Along. You can also see some pictures of what I and the other are doing at the Flickr Group. Somehow has posted a pretty amazing looking version done using Joel Dewberry’s Aviary 2 line, which works really beautifully in this pattern.