Work-in-Progress Girl

Stress Shopping


A couple of weeks ago I said this: “I can tell I’m stressy because after ages of not spending money on anything unnecessary and especially not on fabric for my stash… I spent like $150 on fabric/notions today without really noticing it. I hope I don’t have buyer’s remorse when it all shows up.”

It’s all showed up now (well, it had earlier this week/last week, but I chose to spend my time stitching, rather than talking about it), so I thought I’d do a picture post and kind of hash out some of my thoughts. (Buyer’s remorse? Not exactly, just not quite Buyer’s Super Excited Awesome either.)


My first purchase was 4.5 yards of fabric from a Canadian shop on Etsy, Kloth Shoppe. The text print up top is Merci Beaucoup from Stof and the one on the bottom is from the Bon Appetit collection for Michael Miller. The green and blue is from Amy Butler’s Lark line. I wish I’d bought more of that one because I really like it, it’s a lot less busy than a lot of Amy Butler’s prints these days.


What I was really needing was fabric for a baby quilt for an old friend of mine; she’s having her first baby in fall/winter and I wanted to make something for her even though we haven’t been in contact in years. (Her mom and my mom are friends, and occasionally my mom sees this old friend of mine, so I still hear bits of news. When I was living in Saskatoon, the friend was in Regina, and then I moved out to Calgary, and now she’s living in Saskatoon. We haven’t been in contact since we lived in the same city, though, so it’s been probably 6 or 8 years since we’ve really spoken.) Anyway, back in the day she wasn’t really into anything very cutesy, especially for boys, so I wanted to make something that has a slightly masculine colour-scheme, but wouldn’t be particularly cute about it. No animal prints, no little boy robots or animal prints or whatever. So the thought was to make something using only striped fabrics, using a red, navy, light blue, and green colour scheme. (Yes, please do scroll back up and see how well I stuck to that thought.) I figured I’d make a double hourglass block with either white or a light grey as the solid.

Since I didn’t find anything on Etsy (from Canadian shops) and since I didn’t find anything from any of the non-Etsy Canadian shops either, I went to Hawthorne Threads. I love Hawthorne Threads, their shipping rates are relatively reasonable even to Canada (they undercut themselves on large shipping amounts because it’s gotten HELLA expensive to ship to Canada), they have a TON of options, and their colour matching tool lets you have a reasonable idea about how things will work together. I figured with them I’d be able to find a dozen prints for the top, plus a backing fabric. And that is what I bought, but…


Two of my fabrics are flannel and the rest aren’t. It’s not that HT doesn’t say what type of fabric it is, I just wasn’t paying attention. (Did I say I was stress shopping? I was. I wasn’t paying attention to ANYTHING as closely as I should have been.) Fortunately the chevron print was meant for the backing material, and I’m definitely okay with flannel as a quilt back. It can shrink A LOT though, so I usually buy extra just in case, but I didn’t. Which I guess means it’s okay that the dot fabric is flannel too because if it does shrink too much, I can still piece the back a bit and keep it up to size. Still, that’s one fewer fabric for the front of the quilt (because I’m not going to mix flannel and cotton on the top.) The Chevron fabric is Medium Chevron in Boy for Riley Blake, and I think the dot is Circle Dot in Medium Blue by Alpine Fabrics.


Anyway, I got distracted from my plans pretty quickly because one of the stripes I found was in a kind of aqua, red, orange, yellow and grey, and it matched to a bunch of other fabrics that also had blue and green. And then I expanded my definition of stripe to allow rows of cars and then I found a grey star print and and and…


And hey, if I’m letting cars through, why not ships. And ships lead to a text-in-rope print and then dots. And if I was breaking all my rules, why not a cute squirrel print anyway? It fit the colour scheme, right? And that tree fabric is kind of stripey and it’s just awesome, so why not? Well, throw away the ships because they’re too tall for the hourglass pattern! And once all this fabric arrived… I don’t really want to use the ones with the orange in them or the grey star because they’ve got that sort of dingy colour scheme that I often find (and don’t really love) in Japanese fabrics and the squirrel and tree are too far off message.


Which all means that of the batch, the only ones I really want to use are the four in the middle row. Maybe I should just try shopping my stash to see if I can scrounge up enough fabrics in that red, blue, grey and orange scheme to make a quilt top. I’d still like a good variety of prints, twelve if possible, and I’d still like to keep it fairly simple (meaning no floral, no animal, no modes of transportation, but yes to stripes, dots, and other geometrics), but I don’t want to have to buy another 4-6 yards of fabric (HT only sells in half yards and larger) in hopes that this time I’ll be happier with the outcome. (And maybe I’ll be able to slip in a little bit of those striped ones, but not the car ones, in the dingy looking fabric, if they’re present in smaller amounts rather than making up 4 of 8 fabrics.)

Anyway, the fabrics are:
Top Row: My Favourite Ship in Sky from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane; Crazy Stripe in Multi from Boy Crazy by My Mind’s Eye; Crazy Cars in White from Boy Crazy by My Mind’s Eye; Stars in Grey from One for the Boys by Zoe Pearn; Stripe in Cream from One for the Boys by Zoe Pearn
Second Row: Sailors ABC in Flame from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane; Pirate Stripe in Flame from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane; Small Dots in Navy from Riley Blake; Small Chevron in Boy from Riley Blake
Bottom Row: Squirrels and Nuts in Navy from Get Together by David Walker; Birch Forest in Aqua from Backyard Baby by Patti Sloniger

While all this shopping was going on and I was still looking around on Etsy, I found a shop that sells Sewline Supplies. I’ve previously bought all my Sewline stuff from a Canadian Shop Which Shall Not Be Named (because of a bad experience earlier this year while trying to buy some refills for my glue pen, I don’t think anything malicious was going on, but certainly a big bout of laziness/not having enough staff maybe and some misfortune getting their products across the border, but it was still a piss-off for me) but haven’t found a lot of shops that sell it, and so when I did find Our Epoch, I thought I’d better buy enough to make the shipping worth the while.


So the necessary stuff was the Sewline Glue Pen refills (I only bought one package, but they accidentally sent me two, which they’ve told me just to keep – I was willing to mail it back because I don’t use SO much glue that I need four refills right now) and the Ceramic pencil leads, in white and pink. (I’ve been using white and green, but I don’t think they had green, so I figured I’d try out the pink for a while.) The Magic Bobbin Washers are always recommended by Leah Day of The Free Motion Quilting Project, so I’ll try them out. The lime green ric-rack is just because I liked the colour, and then two honeycombs of Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie & Camille, who somehow manage to break past my general dislike of florals. I always love how their collections look when they’re all together, they’ve got a great colour sensibility.

I bought all of that in the space of maybe 45 minutes online, but I wasn’t done. Nope! The next day I went stress shopping to Fabricland. I don’t know if Fabricland exists outside of Canada, but it’s a chain that sells all sort of fabrics (quilting cotton and a lot of clothing fabrics, home decor, etc.). I find most of the quilting fabrics to be somewhere in the poor-to-middling quality, but they occasionally get in big name fabrics. And if you’re a member, they’re the cheapest place to get batting, locally, because it’s really expensive to ship something as bulky as quilt batting. They’re good for notions too, though only if they’re on sale. (If you’re a member you get an automatic 20% off notions, which tells me that their mark-up is 20% higher than it needs to be. Subtract 20% and you’re probably at the price that it SHOULD be set at.) They fairly frequently have 30-50% off notions, so I tend to buy all my rulers from them and cutting mats and that sort of thing. Anyway, they didn’t have any big sales at the time, so I didn’t get the ruler I wanted (a while ago I mentioned losing my good 12.5″ square ruler – I still haven’t found it!), but I did pick up some more thread and some other interesting looking things:


Okay, looking at that photo… Fabricland doesn’t sell Fiskars, so I’m not sure where I bought the blades (probably Michaels, for 40% off), but I’m glad I did because I accidentally ran my most recent blade (and it was REALLY new!) over a pin yesterday and now it’s skipping a thread every turn around when I cut. The thread is just basic Gutermann thread, which I use for piecing. I know everyone online has drunk the Aurafil koolaid, but I haven’t tried it yet and my sewing machine likes Gutermann, so I’ll go on using it. (I do have one spool of Aurafil thread that I bought a while ago to try. I haven’t got around to it yet, and I’m a little scared to try because maybe my machine will purr like a kitten and produce the World’s Most Amazing Stitching Ever if I do and then I’ll have to start buying more expensive thread that has to be shipped to me because nobody nearby sells it.)

The Grip Disks are just for a couple of my cutting rulers that don’t have very good grip and slid all over the place. (The absolute worst is a Dresden plate ruler I’ve got. I’ve had it for years and it’s so slippery it’s a wonder I’ve never chopped off a finger tip while trying to cut with it. Then again, I’ve never made a Dresden plate because every time I’ve tried cutting the fabric, it’s slipped all over the place and I’ve not gotten appropriately sized units.) And last up are the oval quilt clips, which just seemed like a neat idea: when you’re quilting a large quilt in a home machine, you can roll up the excess quilt and hold it together in a roll with those clamps. Seemed like it might be worth a try.

Anyway, that’s it for my ridiculous shopping extravaganza. Now I just need to reevaluate all the fabric choices for that baby quilt in the making. (And why couldn’t she have a girl? I’ve got a spare girly quilt top that just needs to be quilted!) And then get to work.


Author: clumsykristel

I'm a 30-ish quilter, and occasional sewist and embroiderer. I mostly talk about crafty things I'm working on, or wish I were working on.

14 thoughts on “Stress Shopping

  1. This may be a silly question but what is a
    bobbin washer used for?

    • Not silly at all! I only know because Leah Day talks about them fairly frequently. They’re a little piece of teflon cut like a washer that you put underneath the bobbin in your sewing machine. Because it’s teflon and slippery, it smooths the bobbin’s spin while you’re sewing. I’ve never used one so I don’t know if it really works, but it’s supposed to make FM quilting run more smoothly by helping prevent nesting and other issues like that with the bobbin thread. I know it’s meant for FMQ mostly, but apparently it helps keep things running smoothly all the time. I guess I’ll see when I finally open it up and try it!

      If you want, email me your address and I’ll drop one in the mail (it comes in a pack of twelve, but they’re supposed to last about a year before wearing out. I only have one sewing machine, so it’s no problem to give one away, and they weigh nothing really).

      • Thanks for offering, that’s so kind of you but my machine has a front loading bobbin so it probably won’t suit. It’s something to look out for when I get a new machine (when I finish saving).

        • Ugh, I’m always kinda sorta saving for a new machine too and then I start to feel guilty about not using my machine until it dies because there’s nothing wrong with it, even if there’s nothing especially right about it either, and well… anyway, one of these days!

  2. Fun haul! I love Kloth Shoppe, too, an have bought a couple of the same prints! Also just put in an order at Hawthorne Threads. Shipping costs is hard on us Canadian gals, but I do think there are more Canadian shops popping up I’d be happy to patronize!

    • There do seem to be more Canadian shops, which is nice, although I haven’t found many that sell a lot of fabrics that I really love. It’s definitely better than it used to be, anyway!

  3. I love the notions and those hexagons I have been meaning to buy for a while and try them – I hear they have a template to help machine sew them instead of hand sew 🙂

    You could use the fabrics for a swap. I am using a whole lot of these type fabrics for my hexagon quilt I a doing where everything is randomly put together but my goal is blue, green, orange, red and yellow’s with a splash of grey, black and white. Gives a great random look to it 🙂


    • Yeah, the hexies each have a plastic template at the back of the pack with holes marking the quarter-inch from the corners so that you can sew the y-seams. Which is great because I don’t think I’d want to use them at all if I had to do them by hand 😀 I haven’t decided how I’m going to use them, exactly, I’m hoping I can make something decently large with the two hexie packs (and maybe a bunch of white fabric or blue or grey… we’ll see though).

      Most of those fabrics will probably get stashed for a while, but yeah… I’ll probably cut into them for swaps (I’m doing a charms swap on flickr in August, so some of it will end up cut into for that) and if I find people with the right taste in things, it could wind up being made into small things to giveaway or that sort of thing 😀

      If you think you could use a square or a strip of any of those fabrics, seriously let me know (which and how much) and I’d be happy to send it out! (I love sharing fabric!)

  4. Your train of thought is exactly like mine! Funny that you write it out just as you’d think it. I’ve found a few Canadian Etsy shops, but like you said, they’re selection doesn’t seem as extensive as others. And I wonder why not!? I mean, they must have the same suppliers and all that.

    • I’m assuming it must be really expensive to bring it across the border? (Taxes? Tariffs of some kind?) I don’t know because even the non-Etsy shops don’t seem to have a really enormous selection. Not to pick on Mad About Patchwork because I like the shop and buy basics there fairly frequently, but she typically only brings in a selection of prints from any given line, rarely the entire thing, even. I don’t know though. It’s kind of weird/frustrating sometimes.

  5. Love your train of though Kristel – a lovely insight into the mind of an online fabric shopper! As for selection in the shop, I wish I could bring in entire lines more often. I’m still building the business, and my goal is to eventually offer the same selection as some of the bigger shops south of the border. One small step at a time 🙂

    • As a person who knows nothing about business, I’ve always assumed with smaller shops that if you can bring in (for a random off the top of my head example) twenty bolts, you’d probably pick a handful from four lines rather than twenty from one line. It’s always good to have more variety so you can draw in people with different tastes and not everyone always wants a complete line. (For me I usually only buy complete lines as precuts – otherwise I buy a little of this and a little of that, which does work with piecemeal collections in a shop.

      In the years I’ve been shopping at your shop I think you have expanded already, which is pretty awesome – like you say, one step at a time! (And I LOVE that you carry so many basics – I’d rather that than the whole line of Nordika any day.)

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. Pingback: Work in Progress Wednesday | Work-in-Progress Girl

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