WIP Wednesday

I’m on vacation this week, so I feel like I’ve been spending all my time sewing. That isn’t quite true, but it’s true enough as far as that goes – I’ve sewn 15 quilt blocks and cut out somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300 strips of fabric to turn into baby quilts. (Twelve of those quilt blocks were made with strips from that pile.) It doesn’t seem like very much, spread over four days, but I’m not very good at sitting still and getting to work. Every day I try to go for a walk, and I’m trying to clean part of my bedroom each day as well, so I usually try to do those extra things in between bouts of sewing, whenever I start to get to restless.


Anyway, I was mentioning the other day that I’m tired of all my batiks and so I sorted them all out of my stash into their own little pile so that I could do something with them to get rid of them. The general plan was to turn them into Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks and to make charity quilts out of them. After that little sorting expedition, I went on a much more arduous, harder on the back expedition and cut the entire pile into a nice, neat stack of 2.5 x 16-inch strips of fabric.


I was able to break it down into six colour units of approximately the same number of strips: purple, orange, blue, yellow (which also has red, burgundy, and some other random bits and bobs), green, and brown. There are enough strips to make four baby quilts, plus I have enough uncut fabric left to add a border to each of them with hopefully plenty left-over to send along for binding. And then there are all the off-cuts. I have two fabric baskets stuffed full of my off-cuts, which… I don’t even know. I can think of nothing in particular I want to do with them, but maybe I’ll sort through and cut them into strips 5 inches long and then start making strips like a coin quilt. Or maybe I’ll find someone who wants a bag of mixed scraps (nothing longer than 16 inches unless it’s narrower than 2.5 inches). Who knows? I’ll be so sick of batiks by the time I’m done four small quilts with them, I probably won’t want to see them again, in any case.

Batik Trip Around the World

Still, there’s one mostly finished quilt. I’m still planning to put a border around it – probably a four inch border and it’ll be something blue based, since I’ve got mostly blue background pieces left over. (I also have a fair bit of a kind of beige one, but it doesn’t seem like it’d work for a border, so I don’t know what I’ll do with that yet.)

Anyway, to take a break from that, and to get some of my other responsibilities taken care of, I also made 3 blocks for exchanges. The first two are for my Livejournal Birthday Blocks exchange, both March birthdays. One was the dreaded Best of All block, which came together… fairly well, though my points are NOT exact.

Best of All block

The request, beyond being that very difficult block, was for batik fabrics, with medium and dark mauve where I have purple and a mauve floral for the centre. I think I really only managed to get the centre in the mauve range, but I couldn’t find any batiks that worked. I just really hope the recipient will like it. I have a feeling she’s going to get a whole range of colours beyond what she asked for, but sometimes a nice range comes together better than something really planned. I guess we’ll see.

Ship at Sea

This second block requested a ship at sea, with no other real directions (beyond, you know, sky coloured sky, water coloured water). I used a block from Modern Blocks compiled by Susanne Woods, which I actually also made last year for a different recipient. There are some things I like better about this year’s block – the water has a better contrast and although both are good water prints, I prefer the motion that this year’s block has – but it does look bare with plain white sails, and it really needs that flag blowing in the wind. I couldn’t find any fusible so I skipped over it, but I should have sent along the cut out flag (it’s in my garbage bin!) just in case the recipient had some and wanted to fuse it down herself.

Square in square

Anyway, the last block I made was for my Simply Solids group on Flickr, where the recipient mailed the pre-cut fabric and we just assembled it. (Precut but without direction of which colour to put where – we could have put the rings in any order because there was enough fabric for any of them to go around the outside.) I’ve had those fabrics sitting around waiting on me for nearly a month, so I’m glad to have it done. Somewhat frustrated to find that it was almost harder to put together than that Best of All block up above – I think I just don’t sew long straight lines very compentently because I do fine on weird triangles and corners, but this little 12 seam block gave me fits.

Anyway, I’ve also been working on pattern making, super secret pattern making, for Fandom in Stitches, and I’d really like to have this done by the end of the week, but I can’t figure out how to clean up my lines and make them LOOK like a pattern. I mean, it’s one thing to have scratchy pencil marks in patterns I use for myself, but you can’t exactly give that to other people, you know? And I don’t have any software on my computer any more for editing things like that.

All of this also represents HOURS of tv watching. I got through most of season 3 of Justified, two seasons of Slings and Arrows (short seasons: they only have 6 episodes each), and I’ve started in on season 1 of due South, which I never watched when it was originally on the air. (Well, actually I never watched any of this when it was originally on the air. I haven’t seen any of Season 4 of Justified, which I think hasn’t quite finished up yet. I’ll have to wait till its out on DVD and I can borrow it from the library.) I don’t tend to pay a huge amount of attention to the tv when I’m sewing, it’s more background noise, but I do watch parts of it at least, so I wonder how much more I could get done if I, I don’t know… listened to audio books instead.

Linking up to:

The Needle and Thread Network

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshley Pieced


31 thoughts on “WIP Wednesday”

  1. Sometimes I think that I’m tired of batiks, and then I start working with them and I start to like them again. Strange how that works, isn’t it? And I’m in the Simply Solids bee too, but I must not be in your group since I didn’t have to make that block. That ship is really cute! I want to make a quilt with that block someday.

    1. I’m in the Aeneous group (which I probably just misspelled). You must be in the other Canadian group, I guess? (There are two groups of us, right?)

      I’ve sort of… wavered back and forth on the batiks, but I think I’ve finally fallen to the Meh side of the equation more or less permanently. Of course, I say that and then a year from now I’ll be kicking myself for having used it all. πŸ˜€

  2. I think your Best of All block came out great. I was surprised at how well mine came together too – and then I had to do *two* card trick blocks because the piecing didn’t flow – seriously?!

    1. Yeah, size-wise it came out, colour-wise… I guess we’ll see. I really hope she’ll be able to make use of all the blocks she gets!

      I haven’t tried the card-trick one yet – it’s a block I’ve never done before, which sort of surprises me. Seems like a thing I’d have done in the past. Anyway, I might have to buy some fabric for it, so I probably won’t try it out for a bit yet, anyway πŸ˜€

  3. How do you get your stack of fabric to look so neat. I am also cutting 2.5 x 16 inch pieces but I have loose threads all over the place. I am so jealous of your stack.

    1. Haha… I don’t know. I can be a bit obsessive compulsive about keeping things neat and tidy sometimes. (If only it would extend to the rest of my life, though…) I think with these ones it’s mostly because it’s batik fabric – nice tight weave means less shreddy bits πŸ˜€ (And none of it looks QUITE so neat since I started pulling out fabrics to put into the blocks.)

      Love the TATW you’ve got posted on your Wordless WIP post – the black and white prints are fantastic between the colours, what a great idea!

  4. wow – you were busy on your vacation. I am not a batiks fan but I must say I really like the quilt you have finished so far

    1. The Trip Around the World seems to be a good way of taking ugly fabric and making something better with it πŸ˜€ I mean, not all of these batiks were outright ugly, but then… some of them were.

          1. That’s lovely of you! You’re the third person who has nominated me and I keep on not doing it because I don’t know if I follow enough small blogs (probably I do, it’s just a matter of searching for them…) with few followers. I’ll keep thinking about it, though. I may have to answer three sets of questions though!

    1. Haha.. yeah seriously! Well, today I didn’t touch my sewing machine at all! So I guess I should be good to go again tomorrow… I’m not back to work until Tuesday next week, so I’ve still got some time to fill.

  5. Wow, I really love how the batiks turned out. It looks like it took ages to do; strip piecing is still a mystery to me. Fully magical! πŸ˜€ And your b_b blocks look great, too.

    1. This block is SUPER fast – at least compared to most. If I could make videos, maybe it would have been an easier block to make a how-to video out of (since I tried to make one once before, but using a more complicated block, and then wound up having to explain too much to make it a usable length).

      Anyway, thanks!

  6. Your Scrappy Batik Trip Around is lovely. I’m happy to see one made with batiks. If, if, if you really want to unload those batik “off cuts” please holler at me. Scraps + batiks + wonky = my style.

  7. Your scrappy batiks are awesome! And you accomplished tons while on vacation, which is always great.

    Your lovely sailboat came today. What color flag were you going to put on? I’ve got a ton of fusible here.

    1. Thanks! I actually got a second batik top finished yesterday (except for the borders, again).

      I was going to do a red flag on the ship – both times I’ve made that block though I’ve wished I had a small skull and crossbones print I could have used πŸ˜€ I also had loosely planned to put a mermaid in the water, but then didn’t know if you’d want something that… whimsical added (and again with the having no fusible). If you would like the mermaid, though, I’ll chuck one in the mail for you!


    1. Haha.. yeah, I loved looking at that stack of fabric, it looks like striations in rock or like tree rings or something, but in all those colours.

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