Work-in-Progress Girl


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Orphan Block Adoption

NOTE: This giveaway/orphan block adoption is now over and the winners have been contacted! Here’s hoping they’re all able to make beautiful things about of these unwanted projects!

Do any of you have old works-in-progress or works-not-in-progress that you don’t love and that don’t make you want to make anything? Cynthia of Quilting is More Fun Than Housework is hosting a link up for sending those old unwanteds out into the world where they might be used and loved. I’ve got three.

I will send out the BLOCKS for free, but if you want the extra fabric (where it exists), I’d ask that you pay shipping (or rather, the portion of shipping above what I’d pay if it weren’t included). And you have to understand that I’m in Canada and shipping rates here are often ridiculous. If you ask, I can let you know approximately what it will be. Try to remember that even if it seems high… You’re getting a bunch of free blocks and fabric,.. so it’s probably not that expensive after all. (Don’t worry. I won’t hold you to it, if you’d rather not pay shipping in the end.)

Here’s the thing. I would like it if these blocks were turned into quilts or whatever for charity, but it’s not a requirement. The real requirement is that you’ll use them and hopefully love them. I’m going to keep this adoption post open until Saturday, June 13. If you’re interested in any of the three things I’m posting, let me know by number which you would like to have. If there is more than one person interested in any of them, I’ll draw names for each project.

1. Amy Butler Midwest Modern Sampler

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Fair to say these blocks have spent a few years in a ziplock bag waiting for me to do something, anything, with them; sorry about the wrinkles! There are 12 of the blocks, all of them different, using three different prints, plus the pale pink background.

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I think I need to try this photos again later when the sun comes around the side of the house because they look awfully dreary, don’t they?

I believe I had planned originally to do 20 or 30 blocks and there is quite a bit of fabric left if you have thoughts in a similar direction. (This is the part where you’d pay to shipping, if you’re interested in the extra fabric.)

The print on top right was never used in the quilt blocks – it always seemed too big to cut up. It might work if you wanted to expand the size by alternating blocks with “plain” squares and using this instead of a solid? There’s 1 metre of it. There is approximately half a metre of the floral print to the left, plus assorted off-cut scraps. There is a 12″ x WOF strip of the dotted fabric, and 15″ + 6.5″ x WOF of the stripe. The darker pink wasn’t used in the blocks, but it’s a good match and I think I’d intended to use it for sashing or cornerstones or something to do with a border perhaps. It doesn’t need to be included, but it’s a 1 metre cut. And then finally, I’ve got a huge quantity of the pale pink, about 3 yards. It’s an Amy Butler solid. Again, if you just wanted some rather than all, I’d be happy to cut it down for you.

2. Orange and Green Batik Sampler

I started this sampler at the same time as the last one. They both were part of Crystal of Sonnet of the Moon‘s 2009 Modify Tradition sampler and I didn’t wind up loving either of them very much. (No knock on Crystal – I loved her blocks way way more than mine!) For this one I have 9 blocks, plus a 10th with a different yellow background that I thought made it look too much like my grandma’s kitchen.

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These blocks used a mix of solid gold, orange, and brown plus the orange and green batik for the main fabrics and then a very pale yellow for the background.

If you’d like to pay to have some or all of the extra fabric shipped out, this is what I’ve got left. Of the batik, there is 24″ x WOF. There is about 10″ x WOF of the gold, 14″ x WOF of the pale yellow, 31″ x WOF of the orange, and about 31″ x WOF of the brown. Plus scraps of all.

3. Pink Bento Boxes

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This was originally intended to be a charity quilt that would have been auctioned off at my work for the Breast Cancer Foundation in Canada, but my work has changed the way it does charities and so it isn’t going to work for that any longer. I didn’t photograph it, but if you most solemnly swear to me that it will be used for charity, then I will include a metre or two (whatever I’ve got) of fabric with pink breast cancer ribbons on it, no additional charge. (But seriously, only if it’s for charity.)

There are 16 blocks and they were made by a variety of women across Canada and the US. The particular problem with that is that they’re varying in quality a bit – both in terms of their workmanship and their fabric.

So yes. Check out the other Adoption options at Cynthia’s Orphan Adoption Event. And remember all of this.

1. This post will be open for offers until June 13.
2. If you would like any or all of the things above, leave a comment telling me which, by name or by number.
3. I will draw names if there is more than one person who wants something.
4. I will pay shipping for the blocks only.
5. If you would like some or all of the additional fabric (to be worked out later, once a winner has been chosen), you will have to pay the remainder of the shipping costs. Shipping from Canada is expensive, but our dollar is weak right now, so try to remember a Canadian dollar isn’t going to cost you a full American dollar (or whatever – maybe you’re from a country with a weaker dollar than Canada, though, in which case you should keep that in mind too).
6. If you pay for shipping extra fabric, please remember that YOU are responsible for the cost to send money through PayPal, not me.


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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.

Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt Brown and Lime Hashtag Quilt

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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December Giveaway Day!

EDITED TO ADD: This giveaway is now closed and the winners – Mom C from Utah and Susan Holden Hutchens from Kelowna BC – have been notified. Thanks everyone for playing along and entertaining me with your comments! Better luck next giveaway day!

I thought I was going to miss giveaway day at Sew Mama Sew this year – we’ve been going through a huge software change at work that has led to my working so very much overtime that I have hardly opened my laptop in the last couple weeks and I’ve hardly read any of my blogs (I think I’m down to about 50 unread posts now!) and I haven’t answered any email in all that time… But here I am! I always love doing giveaway day, so I couldn’t avoid it, even if I don’t think I’ll have time to enter too many giveaways myself!

Typically I’m going to give away two prizes, both for craft supplies!

Giveaway One
A $25 gift certificate to my favourite online shop, Mad About Patchwork!

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Mad About Patchwork is a shop in Stittsville, Ontario… which I think is near to Ottawa (I’m from the West of Canada, so I’m pretty shaky with my geography out East). Pam, who owns the shop, has been wonderful to me over the years, largely because of just how much she’s helped contribute to my fabric stash… but she even let me mail her a swatch of shot cotton once so that I could have her tell me what colour it was so that I could buy enough for the background of a quilt. (It was Jade, I think… but I could be wrong because I never write these things down!)

Worst quilting idea ever...
This is the shot cotton in question… photographed in some pretty poor light and on my phone, so I’m not sure it’s the best Jade representation going…

She’s got a fantastic selection of both Kona Cottons and Kaffee Fassett shot cottons and all sorts of assorted other print collections, books, patterns, and notions. One of my favourite things to get sucked into buying are the curated Monday Mosaic bundles, which I think are usually put together by Laura who also teaches classes at the in-store studio. Here’s a fairly new one, Rustic Winter:

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Love!

I also really like the Stash Bundles, which are grouped together by colour. Here’s one I don’t think I’ve bought, in fuchsia, which is a colour I always used to hate, but have really come around on over the last year:

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Anyway, all this by way of saying: imagine what you could buy, gift card in hand email!

Giveaway Two
A 5-fat quarter collection of Tula Pink Moon Shine fabrics plus some as yet undecided bonus prize… which may or may not be crafty in nature. Maybe I’ll make something. Maybe I’ll include a mini-charm pack. Maybe I’ll top it up with some coordinating non-Tula fabrics. Maybe I’ll put in some cute bottles of nail polish. Maybe it’ll be Christmas candy, I really couldn’t say!

Moon Shine

Okay, I cannot tell a lie… these are my least favourite prints from Moon Shine and won’t be terribly sad to see them go. But there’s a lot of Tula love out there, so I think these fabrics will shine a little brighter in someone else’s life – maybe it’ll be yours!

The Details
I always choose one winner from Canada or non-US locations in the world and one winner from anywhere in the world. (So, in theory, there could be 2 Canadian winners or two Malaysian winners or one Brazillian and one American winner or whatever combination you want to come up with… but there can’t be TWO American winners.) The reason for this is that sometimes those of us from non-US locations get excluded from some pretty amazing prizes. This is a teeny tiny way I’ve come up with to give the rest of us a little bit of a boost for winning. (It’s important to note, I don’t particularly care what nationality you are – if you’re an American living in Paris, you count as “non-US location” because your mail is going to Paris, not Omaha. Likewise, if you’re Romanian, but are living in Pensacola, you count as US.)

I will draw the winners on Saturday, December 13 using Random.org, which means you MUST enter by 11:59 PM PST on Friday, December 12. When I do the first draw, if the winner is from the US, then I will continue drawing numbers until I find someone from outside of the US. If the first winner is from outside of the US, then the second number drawn will be the second winner, regardless of location. I’ll need to hear back from the winners by Tuesday, December 16, so that I can get your prize in the mail to you.

If you want to be entered, I need to know…
1. Where you live!
2. Anything else… what you like about where you live, what the weather is like, what you’re planning to do this week (besides enter giveaways…), what your crafting goals are for next year, what you’d like to receive as a surprise gift if you win the Tula Pink fabric, what you’d buy from Mad About Patchwork if you win the gift certificate, etc… Anything your little heart desires.

I will delete your comment if you don’t include your location and some other comment besides “thanks for the chance to win” because those are my least favourite comments to receive. Do not include your email in the body of your comment – WordPress will provide it to me (and keep it hidden from everyone else).


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Work-not-in-Progress Wednesday (plus Birthday! plus Giveaway!)

Work NOT in progress? Yeah. Well. You may have forgotten, but back in March I got my hands on a Juki straight stitch sewing machine. Which wouldn’t work for me. It took me half an age, but I finally took it in to a sewing machine repair shop in mid-July to have it looked at. I’m not honestly sure what they did with it – the feed dog lowering mechanism was broken so they repaired that and they got it stitching again, but it didn’t seem as if they needed any parts to get it working again. They did charge me for (and sent me home with) a packet of specialty needles, which I’d read in the manual that it needed, but which I didn’t know if I was using (because I just used a needle from one of the packets that the former machine owner had stashed in the ziploc baggy full of spare machine parts). So maybe it was as simple as swapping the needle!

In any case, I brought the machine home and I sewed an entire quilt top on it and it was great and running smoothly and happily and I was impressed and pleased and all things wonderful and good. Until I switched to a new project, which was going to be a quilt from John Q Adams/Quilt Dad‘s Beyond Neutral quilt book (not an affiliate link). It’s using all that green fabric I showed off on Sunday and 5 yards of a blue I’d bought for something, which it turned out not to work with, and I was really excited to get working on it. Until something weird started happening:

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I started getting runs in my fabric. It’s just like when you catch a toenail on a pair of stockings and suddenly there’s a run up the side of your leg, except it’s my fabric that’s being ruined! My exciting new project!

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Looking at it from the reverse, it looks like the needle is catching a single strand of thread on the fabric, pulling it through to the back (the biggest loop here is the pale blue you’re seeing the wrong side of in the top photo), thus pulling a run into the fabric. In fact, all those little loops of whitish looking thread are blue from the front. It’s not just ruining one of the fabrics, though, it’s ruining both layers — all the fuzzy looking blue blobs are bits from the bottom layer of fabric (bottom when it’s run through the machine, top when you’re looking at it above), which are pulling runs into the bottom as well.

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I think this is the worst one I had — it pulled the thread through so far that it pleated/puckered the fabric!

My only real thought as to the cause is that there must be some kind of flaw in the needle, maybe some kind of rough spot that is catching the fabric on the way by and causing the runs in the fabrics. It’s the same needle I used to sew the aforementioned quilt top (which you can see in my Instagram stream or can wait to see when I finally get it quilted) and it didn’t cause any problems then, but it seems (to me) the most likely cause. Feel free to prove me wrong, though! I tried to do a google search on the subject, but I didn’t really find any suggestions or answers!

In any case, since I have no work in progress to show you, I might just as well jump on to the next part of today’s post: it’s my birthday!

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And birthday’s mean giveaways around here! Last Sunday I talked about buying a nice big stack of (kinda sorta) peridot coloured fabrics from Mad About Patchwork and some of that bounty of greens could be yours… or possibly better yet (I dunno… maybe you hate green?), you could pick out your own fabrics to celebrate my birthday!

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(The very lovely) Pam at Mad About Patchwork is sharing a $50 gift certificate with one of you to help me celebrate! Just think what you could do with $50 at a fabric shop….

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You could pick up a kit for Lorna McMahon‘s adorable Fox & Friends quilt pattern.

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Or you could pick up a Chasing Fireflies curated bundle of Fat Quarters.

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Or you could curate your own bundle, as I did with my collection of greens (though, admittedly, I did also pick up a green stash bundle to round out my choices.

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Or you could save it for a little while (yeah, right!) and pick up something from the coming soon section, like this Kate Spain Horizon jelly roll. In any case… I don’t think anyone would have too many problems finding a way to drop $50 at a shop like this one!

Greens

I haven’t been flashing this green around for nothing, though, because if you don’t happen to win the gift certificate, you might just win a Fat Eighth bundle of all 18 fabrics that I picked up from my last virtual shopping trip at Mad About Patchwork. (They’re all approximate cuts, by the by. I took the super scientific approach of not pressing the fabric and then just cutting them up the fold line in the middle, so they’re… approximate.) I don’t know what you’ll do with them, but my brain flashed through a dozen options before settling down on the pattern I mentioned above. Green is awesome – you can do something fresh and spring-like with leaves or trees or you could add reds and go holiday or add a bunch of blues for a more soothing watery palette or add purple for something floral and vibrant…

So if you want to enter: please leave a comment below. Maybe tell me about your birthstone and if you like it (or don’t) or (if you read my Sunday Stash post) about your favourite gemstone for jewellery or about your favourite famous piece of jewellery. (Yeah, okay. So I’m not a very girly-girl, but among my favourite blogs are From Her Majesty’s Jewel Vault and The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor, which I mostly only like when they’re talking about jewels. I’m not a jewellery person, but I do like to look at all the amazing sparklies locked up in the royal jewel vaults of various European houses.) Or maybe you could tell me about the kind of day you’re having – I’m writing this post a day ahead, but I can almost certainly guarantee I’m at work and grumpy about it while most of you are reading this. I was supposed to be on vacation this week, but my back-up broke her foot and is off work, so I had to cancel and… well, I’m a little bitter about it! Maybe you could tell me about your up-coming weekend. I think I’m going to go check out the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaentology, which I haven’t been to in years (and years and years…). In any case, the point of all this: leave a comment. I WILL NOT count your comment if you only say “thanks for the chance” or anything along those lines – I’d like to hear something a bit more interesting than that! You don’t have to wow me with your witty repartee, I’d just like something more interesting to read!

I will draw the winners on Tuesday, September 2, so enter sometime before then! (Or anyway, sometime before I come home from work that day. I usually get home around 3:30 pm MST.) The first name drawn will win the gift certificate (unless you’d prefer to win the fabric bundle, in which case: say so in your comment!) and the second name will win the fabric.

A very, very special thank you to Pam for providing the gift certificate (and for always providing me with the sweet, sweet hits of fabric that I sometimes need to get me through a crappy week like this one, when I’m meant to be on holiday but am not).

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And finally, finally… linking up with Lorna’s Let’s Bee Social, The Needle and Thread Network, and finally Work in Progress Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Sew Fresh Quilts wipwednesdayneedleandthreadnetwork WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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Saturday Surprise Sunday Stash

I lived in Saskatoon when I first started sewing and I didn’t have a sewing machine to begin with, so I stitched everything by hand. Then for my birthday one year I asked for a sewing machine, and I mostly wanted one so that I could participate in a block swap in a Livejournal group. It turned out I was basically terrible at sewing, even with a sewing machine. I didn’t know the first (or last!) thing about accuracy or how piecing worked and I didn’t know basic sewing terms, so when the swap group said we’d make 9.5″ blocks, I thought that meant the finished size was supposed to be 9.5″ and did you know there aren’t any blocks out there that come out to 9.5″… (strangely enough), so I sized up a shoo fly pattern with an extra half inch in the centre units. (No lie.) And I also didn’t have any money, so I was using cheap and (worse) ugly fabrics from Walmart. The blocks I sent out were appalling.

So I learned to paper piece, but I still wanted to learn to piece properly and I let myself get sucked into buying Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks from Periwinkle Quilting. In 2005/2006, the Saturday Surprise Sampler was done using primarily Robert Kaufman’s A Thousand Flowers line. It was 20 blocks and they were really tough, but I learned A LOT about accurate piecing (all of which I think I’ve forgotten since):

A very old UFO...

I kind of forgot about this project, but I was down in the basement the other day and decided to empty some drawers of crap I have down there, and what should I find but my 20 pieced blocks, all the setting squares and triangles to put the main part of the top together, and fabric that I think I intended to be borders.

A Thousand Flowers

There is about a metre of the orange fabric, but only 2 fat quarters of the purple. I also found a bunch of notes and a drawing of the border treatment I intended to use, but man are they some nonsensical notes! (Seriously: my notes on block placement included things like, “really hard mostly green one”.) All this fabric was from 2005 or so, so I doubt I’d be able to find any more. Here’s hoping 2 FQs and a metre of fabric will be enough to finish the job…

I also fished up the beginnings of the next year of Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks, of which I only bought 9 (and never made any) before stopping:

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The patterns look just as complicated – yikes! But the worse problem was that the fabric wasn’t remotely to my tastes. I bought these first nine block kits and had thought to make something for my Grandma, whose house was (still is) decorated in avocados and golds.

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I just don’t foresee myself ever making these blocks, though. They’re just… too much not what I like to make. If anyone out here would like these block kits, please just leave a comment below and I’ll mail them out to whoever asks for them first. The patterns all come with just enough fabric to cut out all the pieces for one block, so if you mess up your cutting, you’d have to swap in something with a similar colour palette, but it’s pretty well just autumn colours, so I don’t think it’d be a terribly difficult thing to do!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles:

Molli Sparkles


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Gypsy Wife Quiltalong: July blocks and Giveaway

Edited to add: The winner of the July Gypsy Wife Quiltalong giveaway was Crafty Kat, who is doing a very lovely blue and orange and grey version of the quilt that I’m really liking a lot! Go check out her blocks, they look pretty amazing!

So I’ve been AWOL for a while now, but not for reasons of not crafting (though a couple of weeks of too hot weather did put a bit of a damper on my desire to sew this month), just for reasons of not feeling like updating. I guess I needed a break! I could probably spend most of August just catching up on things I’ve been not writing about since April, but instead I’ll knock out three months worth of Gypsy Wife blocks right now. (Well, my brights version, anyway. I’m still three months behind on my low volume version…)

May Blocks
Gypsy Wife QAL - May

I’m pretty much in love with my Hope from Hartford block. I rarely love florals and I don’t even really love the one I used, but I love how it looks in this block. I loved how it looked with that teal Je Vous en Prie fabric and even though I don’t love the background fabric for the block, I think it’ll all work out in the end anyway; that background is hardly going to stand out in the face of all the bright and crazy mish-mash of prints and colours that this quilt is going to use. There’s a lot of blue Anna Maria Horner fabric going on in this little collection – you can always tell what’s near the top of the scrap pile with these blocks! – but there’s even more Heather Bailey, which I had been cutting into at the time for a different project that I’ve stalled on.

June Blocks
Gypsy Wife QAL  - June

I count another four Heather Bailey prints in this collection of blocks – definitely the scraps on top of the pile… I went a bit less crazy with my Crazy Anne block than was recommended and just maintained the same four prints around the outside of the block, rather than swapping in something different for each quadrant. This is another one where I was really pleased with the final look – I was so afraid of those half-rectangle triangles, but they came out almost perfectly (maybe 2-3 millimetres short). I’m not sure I love all these bordered square in square blocks, but I’m trying to remind myself that most of them will kind of disappear into the quilt and won’t be so noticeably off or awful.

July Blocks
Wind blown
Windblown!

Gypsy Wife QAL - July Blocks

I felt like I went too pink/purple and blue in the two previous months, so I tried to be really conscious about using other colours in this month’s blocks. But jeez… what was I thinking putting that same dark red-orange on the outside of two different blocks? These blocks won’t be too close together in the quilt (they’re in sections 2 and 8), but if they seem like too much, then I’ll probably pull off the straight borders and swap in something else (although that particular block features the only time I’ve sewn with that Corsage print and actually had a pair of scissors not get half-swallowed up in a seam allowance). Also, you’ll note, I stuck ANOTHER square of that blue Anna Maria Horner print into a square-in-square block. I’m definitely going to have to make sure those blocks all wind up spread out.

Normally I post a photo of my design wall with all my blocks up on it, but I’ve run out of design wall space, so they’re not up there at all. I think I’m going to take down my low volume blocks and start grouping all these brights blocks into sections on the design wall. I know some people are also working on this by section, rather than by the blocks Michelle set out for the month and if you’re having a hard time figuring out what goes where, I’ve made a spreadsheet that breaks down which blocks go into which section. (I took all the data from my previous spreadsheet, which breaks down which blocks we’re making each month. There may be mistakes in either or both documents, but please let me know if you find one!)

Now for the fun bit! Please link up your July blocks (Star block, three Square in Square blocks, and one bordered Square in Square block) and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift certificate provided by our lovely sponsor Fat Quarter Shop. (A name will be chosen by Random.org on August 1st, but the linky closes late on July 31st.)

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If you are working ahead to put your quilt together in sections, just pull together photos of the July blocks and you can still enter to win:

Because I’m a WordPress blog, you’ll go away to another site to enter the linky. Best of luck!


657 Comments

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day/Sunday Sunrise (de)Stash

The Sew Mama Sew Giveaway is now closed – the winner will be notified today and the winner will be revealed Sunday, May 18.

If you’re here for the SMS Giveaway Day, just scroll down a bit till you see the SMS logo – there’s a bit of bloggy housekeeping up top here! Feel free to stick around though or just to come back when the craziness of Giveaway Day is over – I’d love to have you back!

So last week I did a bit of a giveaway with my Sunday Stash and in the end I wound up with three winners — I had chosen two people who both wanted Strawberry zip-up pouches and then I thought and thought and thought and decided that I’ve got more than enough fabric to make pouches for both of them, so I decided to do that, and then found a third winner for the gift card. So my winners are Jo at Riddle and Whimsy, Mara at Secretly Stitching, and Katy at Lethargic Lass. So congrats to all three of you!

Just for a change, I haven’t got any new fabri…. okay, I lied! I just remembered that I went to my local fabric shop for some sewing machine oil and came home with these beauties I’d shared on Instagram:

Fabric fast schmabric fast...

I didn’t, incidentally, come home with sewing machine oil because I got so distracted by the mirror ball fabric and Lizzy House’s jewels prints that I completely forgot the oil. When I did go back the next day, I did walk out with oil and without fabric! Success! (Of sorts. The oil was my last attempt at getting that Juki sewing machine working. It didn’t help, so I think it just needs to be serviced to see if there’s something wrong with the machine or with the way I’m trying to use it.)

Anyway, in light of the fact that I thought I had nothing to share, I decided to do a Just One Day Early post of my Sew Mama Sew giveaway prize, which is a little bit of a destash, since the two fat quarters are fabrics I’ve had in my stash of “uglies” for a while and since the charm pack was something I’d bought with the intention of eventually using it in a giveaway. (I’ve had it for some months, these are neither of them recent purchases.)

Sew Mama Sew giveaway day prize

The two fat quarters are both from a Dear Stella line, which I think was called Mimosa, which I haven’t been able to confirm. (Dear Stella doesn’t list the line on their site any longer, but Google suggests I might be right.)

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The charm pack is the very lovely Sunrise collection from Kona. I just love that photo of it – makes me want to buy a bit of all the colours and just stack it up somewhere to ooh and ahh over. Lovely!

So my giveaway is open internationally and will be awarded to someone who leaves a comment… oh, I don’t know… telling a story about a favourite sunrise you once saw or maybe a link to a photo you took of a beautiful sunrise. Or maybe you can tell me what you like to do with charm packs or with layer cakes (since I’m working on a Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong, I’ve got layer cakes on the mind… I’ve got at least three or four more stashed away in the closet!). Or tell me about your fabric stash: do you have an uglies pile for things that come into your possession that you don’t like (or things you’ve changed your mind about and then wonder what the heck you were thinking when you bought them)? What do you do with those fabrics? (I’ve heard and even believe that adage that if you still don’t like it, you haven’t cut it small enough. It’s true, you can do a lot of good with a lot of ugly when it comes to fabric, if you figure out the right thing to do with it, but sometimes I just don’t have the patience.) In any case, leave a comment! And leave a comment that’s more than just “thanks for the chance” because if that’s all you say, then you’ll be disqualified immediately. Also, please don’t leave your email address in the body of your comment – WordPress gives me (but NOT my readers) access to your email address so as long as you type it correctly, I’ll be able to contact you.

Best of luck and remember to hit up Sew Mama Sew from Monday through Friday this week (May 12-16) to enter as many giveaways as your little heart desires.

ETA: I always do my best to respond to all the comments people leave on my blog – and will even be doing so this week! – but I WON’T be forwarding them to your email like I usually do. If you’re interested to see my response, feel free to pop back in another time, but I’m not expecting it, so no worries! (Mostly I’m just using my comments to number label all the entrants so that Random.org can do an easier job of drawing a winner.)

Also, linking up to Molli Sparkle‘s Sunday Stash, hosted this week by Emily at Sewing by Moonlight.


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Sunday Stash: Strawberry Patch

Winter for a Year

So I don’t know if you know this about Canada, but sometimes we get snow. And sometimes it lasts forever and ever and ever and ever. It’s May, yes, but it’s been snowing again. Normally when we get snow in May it hits the ground and melts, but it’s only melting on pavement and sidewalks, so the trees and grass are all white and wet and it’s gross and depressing and this winter just won’t end. A month ago I kept taking pictures on Instagram and labelling them #ohmygodawinterforayear, which was a reference to an Arcade Fire song, Winter for a Year:

But the other day I had some mail arrive from China with various different cuts of strawberry print fabrics. Summer in a brown envelope! I’d ordered it because I was participating in a Strawberry Dumpling Pouch swap on Instagram/Flickr (#strawberryswap or Dumpling Swap), but it didn’t arrive until after I’d finished sewing the project with non-strawberry fabrics. Sigh. Thanks, Canada Post, for holding it in Richmond for a couple extra days after saying it’d been processed through customs!

Strawberry fabric

Now that I don’t have a need for strawberry print fabric, I’m wondering what the heck I’m going to do with the stuff! I need a second strawberry swap just to use it up… But then again… WordPress is telling me that yesterday was my 3 year anniversary on WordPress and this is going to be my 222st entry (which I’ve been watching/waiting for), which means it’s time for a giveaway!

Per usual, I’m going to do two giveaways and they’re going to be as follows:

1. A $25 giftcard to my favourite Canadian fabric shop, Mad About Patchwork. You could pick up this Mormor bundle from the Designer Bundles section or Spring Forecast from the Curated Bundles section or, you know, you could get five-sixths of that Shot Cotton Sampler from the Stash Bundles section. (It’s really too bad there’s not a $30 gift certificate option – it’d open a few more doors!) Or you could do like I always do a throw in a little of this and a little of that. I recently picked up a selection of Essex Linen blends and you could too!

mormor-bundle28991665 spring-forecast29391148 1049-Shot-Cotton-Sampler-2981

2. The second possibly more boring giveaway will be a hand-made pouch or drawstring bag made with some strawberry print linen, as seen above. It’s not made yet, so you’ll just have to imagine it in your mind’s eye! The winner can choose between a zipper pouch (likely the wide-open pouch from Noodlehead, but it could be a dumpling pouch if you’d like something tiny) or a drawstring bag from the In Color Order tutorial. I will also include some charm squares, cut from my own stash, in the colours of your choosing and, well, who knows what else… something, surely.

I’ll be drawing two names, the first one drawn will get their choice of prize, so if you prefer one giveaway over the other make sure to mention it in your comment. (If the first winner doesn’t mention a preference, than the second name drawn will get their first choice.) Otherwise just leave a comment of some kind and something other than “thanks for the chance!” You could tell me about the weather where you are (though maybe I won’t want to know, if this snow doesn’t go away…) or you could tell me why raspberries are better than strawberries or you could give me your favourite strawberry-based recipe or you could tell me about your favourite place to shop online or what kind of swaps you like to participate in or share some of your favourite music with me or whatever….

The winners will be drawn on Saturday, May 10 and will be announced on Sunday, May 11 in my next Sunday Stash post, so enter the giveaway by Friday, lest you miss out! You don’t need to be a follower of any kind of be entered, so if you’re popping by from Molli Sparkle’s Sunday Stash or from Fabricholics Anonymous, feel free to enter.

Molli Sparkles FabAnon

And speaking of Fabricholics Anonymous? Well…… this was an April purchase and it’s not something I pre-planned and it’s not something I “needed” to finish a swap requirement (I’d planned to use it for a swap, but I got by without it when it didn’t arrive in time and would have got by without it if I hadn’t bought it at all). So I guess that’s another month in the failure zone. (And if you’re a close reader, you might also have noticed I mentioned recently buying some Essex Linen blend fabric. So you know. There’s that.) I’m really not very good at this not-buying-fabric thing. Maybe May. Actually, no, not maybe May, because Pink Castle Fabrics had a big sale on all their bundles and I am weak. Maybe June.


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Sunday Stash: Totalling the Diet Train

If there’s anything I’ve learned from 15 years of failed attempts at dieting, it’s that I’m not really very good at dieting. Chocolate, fabric; it’s all the same. I did great in January, I crashed and burned in February, and now in March I’ve… well, crashed and burned again? I don’t know. Certainly the fabric diet train has been totalled by this second crash, if it wasn’t already written off in the first.

Well, this week I’m hosting Molli Sparkles‘s Sunday Stash link-up and giveaway – arriving a day early here because it’s already tomorrow in Australia 😉 – so I guess it’s good that I’ve got a lot of things to show you…

Molli Sparkles

The Mad About Patchwork Stuff:

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I was looking for the pattern on the left and came away with it and the pattern on the right (which, omg, SO MANY PIECES… it turns out the answer to the Enigma – how to make this quilt without y-seams – is all the Half-Square Triangles EVER… seriously, making this quilt will use up your yearly quota of HST).

And somehow all this stuff hopped into the envelope as well:

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The top two are Anna Maria Horner prints from Field Study and as with so many AMH prints, whenever I look at them I wonder WTF I was thinking because I don’t have one sweet clue what to do with them to make them turn into something good. But then someone else will use them and they’ll be brilliant! and amazing! and I’ll have to have them! And so now I do, but right now… I kind of hate them. I suspect I’ve actually bought the bottom print before, one of the prints from Sarah Watson’s Indian Summer line… I really need to clean up my sewing room and get my fabric back in order by colour so that I can actually see what I have.

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There was also a bit of Joel Dewberry love going on because I also bought two different Tile prints from his Notting Hill line as well as the Frames print. Love the colours in these ones. I always say I hate pink, but I LOVE that pink print ridiculously.

The Hawthorne Threads Stuff:

This is still en route and I’ve deleted the email with the invoice so …. it’s a mystery. But I bet it’s good.

The Fabricland Stuff:
I shit-talk Fabricland a lot because mostly it has a lot of not terribly great fabric, but I went there looking for hardware to construct a bag and discovered that they have a new collection of fabrics they’ve got labelled “Anna’s Fabrics” and if you read the selvedges or even the bolt ends under the Anna sticker, they are actually designer fabrics from companies like Andover and Robert Kaufman. I don’t actually love any of the fabrics I picked up from that line, but I was so weirded out that I somehow walked away with .5 metres of each of these:

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Ric Rac Rabbits by Marissa and Creative Thursday for Andover fabrics

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Fiesta by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman.

They also had a section for fat quarters:

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I picked up a handful of different things, aiming mostly for ones that had the printed side of the selvedge. No info on the blue strawberries or roses. The blue and white is from Paris & Company by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake. The grey with dots is something Christmas related also for Riley Blake (the selvedge is too hard to read). No info on the elephants, I just thought they were sort of fun and weird. The next two are both Rocket Launch Club prints by Sarah Jane and the last one is Ombre Dots from Riley Blake.

And finally… The Craftsy Stuff:
It’s just that Craftsy is having a Tula Pink workshop and and and… I barely like most of the prints in this line, but it’s Tula Pink! I love Tula Pink!

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And it involves a lot of 2.5″ strips of fabric, which made me wonder if the mystery is going to be something like her pixelated Anchor quilt! Or maybe it’ll be something like the butterfly quilt! I do know that, no matter what, my quilt will have a lot of horse’s asses in it:

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A 2.5 inch strip is apparently NOT the thing to do with that print. Besides horses’ behinds, there are also hoppy bunnies, which feel like a weird addition, as they’re too sweet and simple and graphic compared to the more realistic style of the rest of the animals and the… busy-ness of many of the other prints. It’s like some kind of Easter novelty fabric that accidentally slipped into the mix. It’s pretty cute, though. Wouldn’t it make a great skirt for a little girl?

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Love that geometric print too. I’ll have to dig through those jelly roll bundles and see what I think of the other fabrics, because I didn’t really like Acacia much either until I saw it in person and then suddenly all those bits I thought were weird seemed to come together.

Anyway… that’s it for this edition of Kristel Has No Self Control. Except that there is a giveaway to go along with the link up! Link up any time this week and you’ll be entered to win…

A fat eighth of the only sparkly fabric I own, something or other from Kokka:

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Two charm packs of Parson Gray’s World Tour line (they only have 12 charms each! why so stingy, FreeSpirit?!), because we all know how Molli feels about David Butler:

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And one charm pack of Amy Butler’s Belle line:

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Now, show us what you got!

1. Link up a blog post welcoming any new sewing supplies to your stash.

2. If it is fabric from your existing stash that you’ve showcased before, please use new photos with as much natural light as possible, and provide as many manufacturing details about the fabric.

3. Try to leave a comment on at least two other links. We want this to be a safe space for sewing supply collectors, after all!

4. Grab the button from Molli Sparkles, and proudly proclaim you endorse Sunday Stashing!

Sigh. I wish WordPress would let this be hosted on site, rather than sending you away to link up! In any case, I’ll let Mr Random pick a winner – you can be from anywhere – after the link up closes at the end of the week. Best of luck and can’t wait to see what’s new in your stash!


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Books books books

One of my greatest weaknesses in life is books. I love books. I love owning books and reading books and using books and all of that. But they take up so much space and I’ve moved a lot, so I’ve hauled around so many boxes of books that my back hurts just thinking about it. So a year or so ago I decided to quit buying them, unless it was by an author I really love or unless I knew it would be something I’d make a lot of use of. I live in a big city with a big library, so I started borrowing library books instead. (For years I wouldn’t borrow library books because I hated how dirty the books felt, so let’s not talk about the time someone tested library copies of Fifty Shades of Grey and found the herpes virus on it. And let’s remind ourselves that that happened in Antwerp.)

Anyway, I’ve been pretty good on the book buying front – I’ve only bought a couple craft books in the last couple years – Camille Roskelley’s Simply Retro, Ayumi Takahashi’s Patchwork, Please!, Cherri House’s Urban Views, Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg’s Sunday Morning Quilts… – up until the last couple weeks. I blame Tom and Lorenzo of TomandLorenzo.com because they’ve been talking about their new book, Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me, and so I got sucked in to Amazon to buy that because I didn’t want to wait for the library to have an available copy. But, you know… free shipping if you just spend $10 more dollars or whatever…

Recent Crafty Purchases Recent Crafty Purchases Recent Crafty Purchases

I only needed to add one more book to hit the shipping quota, but who can decide? Obviously the proper answer is to not decide at all, just go ahead and get them all!

I wish I hadn’t. They’re all lovely books and I haven’t finished reading them all, but there’s somewhere between very little and almost nothing that I actually want to make from these books. I mean, in a way that’s fine, because craft books aren’t always about finding patterns you want to replicate, so much as finding ideas or inspiration, but I didn’t need this books to get the inspiration I’m likely to take from them. (I might need to exclude the Quilt Lab book from that. I haven’t done more than flip through it yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be very different from most quilting books I’ve read. I’m still not sure I’ll want to make any of the projects from it, except maybe that Fractal quilt, which I love, but it is a very different take on the quilting thing.)

Speaking of things I’ve bought but probably won’t use,.. is there anyone still out there who hasn’t picked up the newest Quilty magazine?

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If you’d like a copy – my copy, which otherwise will be recycled on Tuesday – leave a note below. If there’s more than one person, I’ll draw a name on Wednesday, March 19 when I get home from work. I’ll send it wherever – might as well get looked at again before it does get recycled! (I can’t promise anything about anyone who handled it before me, but I can promise I haven’t left any herpes virus or cocaine behind on this one.)

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash:

Molli Sparkles