Work-in-Progress Girl

Sunday (Scrap) Stash


So last week for Sunday Stash I started the slow reveal of all the stuff I bought from Hawthorne Threads in the month of Misbehaving March (I’ve decided it needs a name – February Fabric Fast Fail and Misbehaving March?). Part of it was due to a gift certificate from Michelle, but part of it was just me having grabby hands. Most of it was me having grabby hands, really, and I extended it by also buying some fabric from Warp and Weft, which remains one of the loveliest online fabric shops I’ve ever found. (Seriously, Esmari’s just got such interesting fabrics… things that you don’t really tend to find elsewhere. It’s a well-curated collection, I suppose.)

But today, I’m just going to keep on picking away at the Hawthorne Threads loot… I picked up a scrap bundle in the “Fresh” colourway. I’ve bought scrap packs from them quite a few times and for a long while now they’ve had them on sale – $6.99 for about 2 yards of scraps by weight – so it’s usually hard to resist. This time I got mostly larger scraps (some of these are over a quarter yard, close to a half yard I think, though I didn’t get out the ruler to check the width) and unfortunately I’m pretty split on liking it vs. not.


Last week I showed you all those lime fabrics I bought… I felt a little like they continued the theme into my scrap pack choices! I am not the biggest fan of the Denyse Schmidt print, Pie Basket, from Hope Valley, but I think I’ve probably got a half yard of it in my stash somewhere! The print beside it, that lime green… poppy print feels like a Laura Gunn print, but I’m not sure that it is – the painted background says yes, but I can’t find confirmation anywhere. On the bottom left is Poppy Modern by Jane Dixon for Andover and on the right Turtle Parade by Patty Sloniger from her Les Amis collection. I just.. I wish Hawthorne Threads had separate packs for children’s fabrics. They’re cute, those turtles, but what on earth am I going to do with a 6″ x WOF strip of turtle fabric? A lot of that children’s fabric that I gave away on the last Sew Mama Sew Giveaway day actually came from Hawthorne Threads scrap packs.


I really don’t like that big chevron top left. It’s from Riley Blake and the colours are probably significant to some American university or football team or both, but they’re horrible. That yellow and that green do not belong together on the same giant chevron print. Next up is a print from Rashida Coleman Hale’s Washi line… I don’t know what the name of it is, but I know it’s getting pretty hard to find. It’s cute, but you know… I never felt inspired to buy anything from that line. I’m certain I’ll use it, but I just didn’t care about it that much. And finally another chevron, this one from Robert Kaufman, though again I don’t know it’s name. I think I’m just bored of chevrons because meh. It’s rather too pink for me, though the green does liven it up a little, but on the whole I feel pretty meh about it.

The rest of this post is going to be devoted to the fabric and scraps that Mari-Ann (@rockislander on Instagram) sent me in exchange for a bunch of Mendocino scraps I sent to her. I think some of this she sent me just because, but we both left feeling like we’d got the better end of the deal, so I think that’s a sign of a pretty good swap.


I don’t know what almost any of these are, though if anyone is particularly curious, I might be able to find out if you ask. My single favourite piece is the second in from the right on the top row. Love that one. If you go see my March Gypsy Wife blocks, you’ll see a bunch of these fabrics in action — the swap was kind of set up so that she would send me things I’d be able to use in the Gypsy Wife quilt, either bright fabrics like this, or more muted ones for my Lower Volume version.


Again, I don’t know the names of any of this stuff, but they’re going to be great for the quiet Gypsy Wife. When Mari-Ann was showing me fabrics that she could send, I was surprised by how easy it was to love love love the bright fabrics and how much less easy it was with the low volume. I like every one of these fabrics, but they sure don’t set me on fire the way that hot pink one up above does. Maybe that’s why I keep thinking I have no low volume fabrics – they just sink back into the background until I forget they exist, even when I think they’re lovely.


Old School Tula Pink! So old school it’s printed by Moda, this print is from her Hushabye line and when it came out I kept wibbling over it because I couldn’t figure out why or if I liked it at all and I never bought it, in any case, but now I have a half yard of it, so I’m going to have to find something fun and interesting to do with it!


And finally, the awesome and luscious and wonderful Hive in Turquoise from Patty Young’s Flora and Fauna line, another oldie but goodie that nearly passed me by back in the day. I bought a bunch of it in a couple of the colours, but for some reason never bought any of the turquoise. Clearly I was nuts because this is so awesome.

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash!

Tune back in next week for even more from my March Hawthorne Threads purchases. I’m trying (trying!) to let it be enough to talk about fabric I bought last month, so that I don’t break down and buy even more fabric this month. I’ve sort of decided I need to adjust my goal as far as this fabric diet goes, so that instead of trying to buy nothing just for the pat-myself-on-the-back of it, I need to have a particular goal in mind. And that goal is a new sewing machine.

I’ve wanted a new sewing machine for ages, but for a long time I worried that I’d give up on the sewing and then I’d have an expensive machine I never looked at. And then I started thinking, well, the one I’ve got isn’t special, but it sure does work and I couldn’t justify buying a second machine when the first one was functional. But facts is facts and I’d like a machine with at least one or two bells and whistles. My current machine is like… wood blocks and hand claps, so even just one bell and one whistle… I could be happy with that. So the new goal is… try not to buy fabric until the end of August (my birthday is at the end of August, so it feels like a good time to treat myself), and if I’m successful, then I’ll buy the new sewing machine then, rather than waiting until next year, which had kind of been my loose plan.

When I say one bell and one whistle…. that’s because I want a machine that’s pretty low tech, compared to some of what is out there. I’ve been leaning more and more towards getting a straight-stitch only machine. If I still have my old machine, I can use that for zig-zag if I need it (and I rarely use it, to be honest). The couple straight-stitch only machines I’ve read about – I haven’t sewn on one yet – have more harp space and needle down functions and come with an extension table (a much larger one than my current machine has) and more useful to me accessories and so on. They require a little more fiddling – you need to oil them frequently and you have to do all the tension adjustments manually (which I already do anyway) – but I’ve never wanted to pay for a bunch of embroidery functions I would never use or 399 stitch combinations or whatever else. I like the thought of a machine that isn’t 90% computer because omg do computers cause problems or what? (Also, they’re a lot cheaper than machines with all the stitch bells and computer whistles.)

Locally I could buy a Brother PQ-1500S or I could buy a Juki TL2010Q from a store in British Columbia (I’d have to go visit my aunt in BC and bully her into driving me into Richmond to try it out). In general, I’d prefer to buy local, so I’ll likely go try out the Brother one day and see what I think, because I do want to try before I buy, and if I like it well enough, I won’t even bother about the Juki (where would I get it serviced? am I going to go back to BC if something goes wrong or pay shipping to get it back there every time?). I hope, when the day comes, that I wind up liking it as much as I’m hoping I will, because I sure do hate trying to learn anything about sewing machines online. There’s so much mixed information out there and without actually trying a machine, you can’t use online opinions for much… there are as many people who love machine X as people who hate it, and that seems to hold true across pretty much all brands and all price points.

Anyway, yes. Running off at the mouth. So that’s my new goal – stop buying fabric, buy a machine sooner. Otherwise it’ll be August 2015 before I do and I’ll likely wind up changing my mind another half dozen times about all the potential sewing machines I could buy.


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.

19 thoughts on “Sunday (Scrap) Stash

  1. My mom just got a new machine (she had her old one for like 40 years). She’s a Bernina fan, so that’s what she got (off the top of my head I can’t remember what she got). She wanted to get the more simpler mechanical version that Bernina had because she too was scared of the whole computer failing thing. The guy that she bought from also repairs Bernina machines for pretty much all of Calgary. He said that he repairs more mechanical issues than computer ones and that he has never repaired or replaced a mother board yet (although I suppose time will tell). We also convinced her, that although she didn’t want fifty thousand different types of stitches, she might one day and yep, she’s already explored about half of them. Straight stitch machines seem pretty trendy to me and when you’re buying something that you are going to keep for years you might want something more. And my mother did buy locally and is so glad she did. She got a free lesson how to use her machine and whenever there’s an issue she can drive it into the city to get it fixed instead of packing it up and sending it somewhere. But that’s just this girl’s very long winded opinion.

    And that Hive in turquoise is fantastic!! I’m glad you bought it!

    • Maybe straight-stitch machines are trendy (I don’t know – I only know one person who has one and I didn’t even know they existed outside of an industrial setting until I found out about her machine), but that’s not necessarily a reason to avoid one. For me it’s largely that the price I would like to pay with the highest number of things that I want leads in that direction – you pay less for a machine that doesn’t have all the electronic gadgetry, but can still have a lot of the functionality of one. The loss of stitch types isn’t enough to put me off because I’ll still have my old machine, which is pretty basic, but is certainly functional. (Ten or so years of sewing on it without ever being serviced or oiled and it still ticks away like it’s never going to die.) I don’t know… I’m definitely going to try out some things before I make a decision, but if I wind up wanting something more fancy, I’ll likely wind up having to save up for a couple more years. And goodness knows I don’t want that ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’m in love with that turquoise hive print. I half hate to think of using it – what if it isn’t as good in use as it is in fabric form ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. I don’t even know where to start. There is so much awesomeness here! Good luck with your fabric diet! I love my machine, but I really need to pick up something with a couple of features I don’t currently have–like a zigzag stitch! ๐Ÿ™‚ One day, right? I hope your machine comes sooner rather than later.

    • Do you have a straight-stitch only machine then? I knew someone whose blog I read does, but I couldn’t remember who it was! I do use my zig-zag on occasion, but I don’t intend to get rid of my current machine anyway, just to stick it out of the way in the closet somewhere for when I need it. It seems like that combination of things I want plus the price I can afford (or maybe I should say the price I can justify spending… I could buy a more costly machine, but that’d mean not buying other things I want, so it’s the trade off) leads me to the straight-stitch machine.

  3. So far Big Brother and I have been getting along well, although I have yet to attempt FMQ. I do kinda wish I had more than the straight stitch, as that elongated zig zag seems a nice alternative to straight line quilting with the walking foot. But, like you, I still have my other Brother with all the computerized stitches for when I need it. I know Brother’s not a big fancy name, but I think having a shop near you for help when you need it is a BIG plus. Christine at also has a Brother PQ 1500s and had a lot of great info and tips for me that I’d be happy to forward on to you if you like. As for the other, love the swapped fabrics!

    • Yeah, I think it’s Berninas maybe that have that zig-zaggy stitch… it does make a nice basic quilt-stitch, doesn’t it? Oh well… As for Brother’s name… well, I’m not too concerned about it, so long as it’s a solid machine that runs well. I forget who makes Brother machines, but it’s probably manufactured by one of the Big Names anyway

      That would be awesome if you could share the tips! They might not be useful right now (since I haven’t got the machine…), but it might offer some more insight about the machine and that can’t be anything but good!

  4. If you need to know any of those fabrics – let me knowโ€ฆsadly I know most of them ;-). I am going to try machines out this coming weekend while in nashville. Good luck with your decisions.

    • The only one I really, really want more of is that pink/purple one, second from the right on the top row, but also I’m trying to avoid finding out what it is because then I’ll just go looking for it and wind up buying it. And I need to not do that ๐Ÿ˜€

      I hope you’ll post about your experiences with machine testing (or just tell me what you think). When I bought my first machine I had no money at all and my parents were willing to pay the $200 or whatever it cost (as a birthday gift) so I didn’t test anything other than the one I bought – it was the only one I could afford! I would like to try out a few different things when I do go to buy one, but I also don’t want to let myself fall in love with something more expensive than I can really (or should really) afford, so I’m a bit wary of getting too test-happy ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. PS. You have got to stop buying those scrap packs ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Haha… true enough. I guess I’m always hoping for something really awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ I think in the past I’ve liked them better when I’ve bought “cool” or “warm” packs rather than the “fresh ones” which often have a lot of pink in them. This one wasn’t so pink heavy, but yeah… I should have remembered that. (And also, I still really think they should have separate packs for kids fabrics because some people are ALL about that and why not if you’ve got kids/need to make a lot of things for kids, but the rest of us…)

  6. Refraining from fabric purchases is so tough. I think your idea is great — set a bigger goal like a new machine to help resist the urge of scrap packs and various other temptations.

    • Here’s hoping it works! I’ll be able to save for it faster too, if I’m not buying stuff, so that’s another bonus.

      On Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 9:47 PM, Work-in-Progress Girl wrote:


  7. I recognise a number of those prints *shame* I guess I spend to much time on the internet looking at fabric (I should actually spend that time sewing………………….). Your Les Amis turtles could be used with the Les Amis Star Pods (the top left in the third photo hehe).

    I hummed and haahed over my own sewing machine choice too — it took me about 8 months to fully decide. I’m not into the embroidery stuff and fancy stitches (but I do like having alphabet stitches). I started looking at machines when the Janome Horizon was all the rage (now it seems to be the Bernina 710). I kind of picked at the things I wanted and compared machines and prices (I would have liked a Bernina, but whoa the price) — I ended up with the model previous to the Horizon because it pretty much had all the things I wanted (and less embroidery stuff) and was cheaper. Eventually one day, I think I’d like to get a machine for FMQ, like the Sweet 16 or something as my next machine rather than keep upgrading a machine just for basic sewing/piecing. I think what I now have is going to last me a while.

  8. My main machine is a Janome 6260qc, and have recently added a Brother 1500, *just* for FMQ. I’m hoping I’ll love it!

  9. Well now, if you’d like to trade for fabrics, I’d love that Washi and would even take that yellow green chevron off your hands. I’ve got die-hard Packers football fans in the family and that *lovely color combo is for that team. If you’re interested, let me know.

    I love my sisters Brother. My Singer doesn’t do zig zag and I miss it all the time but I do clothes and appliquรฉ sewing. I do use my curved/wave stitch for a straight line quilt alternative as well. It doesn’t do FMQ at all. So my machine and I argue ๐Ÿ™‚ I would get a machine that I could get serviced easily.

  10. I bought that Brother 1500 about 6 months ago and (I know everyone has their own opinion) I LOVE it. I had about the same list as you when considering different machines. I liked the quality of the straight stitching and the FMQ. Both were easy, fast, and accurate. I don’t do all the embroidery, and have an old machine that can do zig-zag when necessary. The Brother is simple and powerful. Oiling it frequently is not a hassle. The bells I like: it comes with a needle threader (after a couple practices it takes me about one second), and a rolled hem foot, and a knee lifter, and the needle down and thread cutter. OK, that’s five bells that I didn’t have before and now I feel like I can’t live without them. Oh, and it was cheaper than all the other ones I looked at. I haven’t gotten much use out of the intermediate feed dog positions and pin feed, but two features out of about twenty that I don’t really use is pretty good to me. The only other thing that is not perfect about the Brother is that it’s heavy. If you are going to keep it in its place all the time, then it doesn’t matter, but I like to sign up for lots of classes, and then I’m lugging a 25-pound machine and the extension table in addition to my project materials. My old machine is about 7 pounds, so it’s much easier to take along, but after being spoiled by my Brother, I almost can’t bear to use it.

  11. What wonderful fabric goodness! I will admit to going from a 1980’s slant shank Singer to a Bernina 710 and I have not looked back. I will freely admit loving all of the bells and whistles, the larger throat space, and the wonderful stitch quality.

  12. I’m learning so much from you and your fabric experiences, Kristel! I’d been wondering what the scrap packs at Hawthorne were like. I hear you on having kid themed fabrics separate. Feel the same way about food themed novelty fabrics. They deserve their own listings.

    Wow. Great private swap. Lots of fabric goodness to ogle. ;o)

    Yes, stay strong to the temptation and treat yourself to a new machine for your birthday (I should even follow this plan myself – I want an upgrade on the bells and whistles type, but am already in good stead with my vintage Singers for basic, reliable straight stitching needed for quilting).

    • I’ve had better experiences with their warm and cool packs than with the fresh one, but I suppose it all depends on what’s near the top of the scrap pile when they put it together ๐Ÿ˜€ On the whole I’d say I’ve had more good things than bad from them, but the bad things always stand out more, don’t they?

      On Mon, Apr 7, 2014 at 8:04 PM, Work-in-Progress Girl wrote:


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